Unheralded, the creator economy has emerged strongly across the world. Contributing substantially to India’s economy overall, YouTube creators alone contributed over ₹10,000 crore to India’s GDP in 2021 says a study by Oxford Economics.

Talking to Fortune India, Meta India head, Sandhya Devanathan, reflects on the creator momentum that the world is witnessing right now and the scope it offers. Through Meta's programmes, the company has upskilled 2,50,000 creators around the country already.

Moreover, India is expected to have the highest global base of social media content creators, with the number reaching 100 million this year, according to influencer marketing company Zefmo. This comes after venture capital firm Kalaari Capital said that the country already had at least 80 million creators in 2022.

Despite the fact that the creator economy revolutionised the digital space, there is still a lot of untapped potential reserved here.

“We have doubled down on helping creators express themselves on our platform, building tools for that, and helping them monetise,” shares Devanathan.

Meta aims to provide the tools for creators to express themselves creatively, facilitate collaborations with creators and brands, and create a safe environment where people feel comfortable expressing themselves.

Notably, the organised influencer marketing sector is expected to exceed ₹3,000 crore in FY24, while the revenue share of micro-influencers is expected to increase from 9% this fiscal year to 14% in FY24.

Devanathan says the one significant change that positively aided this development, was the rise of short-form video. “On reels, more people from small cities and towns are showcasing their talent, and getting discovered nationally. In fact, with reels, creators have a global stage to showcase their talent,” she says.

She cites an instance where one billion reels were produced in India during the ICC Women’s World Cup.

“It was a demonstration of inclusion. Women and men came together to celebrate ICC women’s world cup,” she shares while adding, “That gives you a flavour of the volume we see on our platform.”

As the largest market in the world in terms of user base for Meta across the spectrum of apps, India has proven to be a fertile testing ground for the California-based conglomerate. The first worldwide launch of reels, the WhatsApp commerce experience, and lending products for small businesses are all examples of India-first lens products.

“Since then, we have done a bunch of things that have furthered that agenda. Even the product team thinks of India as an innovative market, and how they can create for this market and then expand globally,” says Devanathan.

An amalgamation of a number of factors – a large and young population, a growing internet user base, increasing video viewership, democratisation of content tools, and a rapidly rising creator base – is bringing forth an exciting future for the country.

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