Opoyi aims to change digital media landscape with new user interface

The new interface improves speed, user experience and aims to provide better support for its rapidly growing communities of users and content creators

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Published: Nov 25, 2021 9:07 AM  | 4 min read
Rajiv Bansal and Nilanjana Bhaduri Jha

While it may still be a relatively new news platform, Opoyi’s founders have more than enough of a pedigree to make it a very experienced newsroom. While Opoyi Editor-in-Chief and cofounder Nilanjana Bhaduri Jha has more than two decades of experience across digital and multimedia news organisations, Opoyi CEO and cofounder Rajiv Bansal has helped launch multiple consumer products, in both- the Silicon Valley as well as helping Hindustan Times set up Mint and maintain its digital audience. Both of them were heads of Ht Digital Streams before starting Opoyi in 2019. 

“So coming out of that experience, and deciding to start our own company led us down a path of discovery of what consumers want, and they want their news to be personalised. While newspapers and TV channels provide the same news in the same lineup for everyone, people expect their internet experience and especially their social media to be personalised. We wanted to take this a step forward,” shares Bansal.

Towards that end, Opoyi has just released a revamp of its UI (User Interface) to improve its site speed, user experience and to provide better support for its rapidly growing communities of users and content creators. It aims to extend its lead in user experience over other traditional news providers through this release. “This release further simplifies and cleans up the Opoyi news feed, where users spend the majority of their time on Opoyi. It also makes it much easier for users to consume and share content. Finally, through this release, we have unlocked users’ ability to consume as much content as they want before their sign-in. While signing in gives consumers the best personalised news experience, we wanted to let them make the choice when to do so instead of having an aggressive sign-in wall,” said Bansal. 

According to a recent EY report, the Indian media and entertainment industry brought in Rs 1.38 trillion (~US$ 19 billion) in 2020 and is estimated at Rs 1.73 trillion (~US$ 23.7 billion) in 2021. Indeed, it is expected to grow to Rs 2.23 trillion (~US$ 30.6 billion) by 2023 due to the ever-increasing use of digital among users across geographies and languages and that is what makes Opoyi stand out in a digital news marketplace, which is the fastest-growing segment in the media industry. The platform allows users to create highly personalised news experiences, combing through articles from traditional media outlets as well as thoroughly vetted community content creators.

“We have three components to our verification system: The first is our algorithm which constantly surfs the content to check their authenticity. Then because an AI needs to learn over time, we have a team of fact-checkers, who identify and flag untrustworthy content so that the AI can be trained on what to look out for. And finally, we have our community of users, who also alert us if they come across anything that might be suspicious,” says Bansal, who says that people on the ground help in the Machine Learning of the algorithms. 

Bhaduri Jha said in a statement about the revamp, “Opoyi is already the fastest news site and has the best consumer user experience across media sites. We believe that this release will extend our lead in these areas and also enable our community of content creators to more easily create high-quality content.” “We experimented with 12 local languages, both local and international, and we saw fantastic user engagement across the board from Marathi to Swahili. However, for the moment we’ve decided to concentrate on two languages: English and Hindi, but the plan is to include a thousand major languages in the world, as well as dialects,” says Bansal, adding the site has a humongous in Bhojpuri, and while most would assume they’re fine with all the content in Hindi, there are still regional specifications.

The vision of Opoyi is that users across the country can get hyper-local content in their own vernacular, as citizen journalists across regions can post stories and incidents (after their verification process is complete). Bansal points out this enormously increases the access of far-flung communities to news relevant to them as all one needs is a phone and an internet plan to watch as well report things happening on a localised level, which may not be picked up by national or even regional news agencies.

As stated in the EY report, in FY20, digital and online revenue stood at Rs 26 billion in the media and entertainment sector and that contribution to the sector increased to 23% in 2020 from 16% in 2019. At the same time, advertising revenue in India is projected to reach Rs 915 billion (US$ 12.98 billion) in 2023, from Rs 596 billion (US$ 8.46 billion) in 2020 while India’s subscription revenue is projected to reach Rs 940 billion (US$ 13.34 billion) in 2023, from Rs 631 billion (US$ 8.95 billion) in 2020.

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