This article was written in collaboration with Triller.
Triller, the US-based answer to foreign social media video-sharing services, has a big 2023 ahead of it. The startup first rose to prominence in 2020 when it started producing blockbuster pay-per-view boxing matches as well made headlines when it started careers for a lot of aspiring martial artists. Aside from its focus on sports sponsorship, the company has also been welcomed by many creators in 2020 as its China-based competitor faced increasing hostility from Congress and former President Donald Trump. As its competition prepares for its first-ever testimony before Congress later this month, the future for Triller, which is currently on the cusp of going public on the NYSE under the ticker symbol “illr,” couldn’t be brighter.
For Triller CEO and owner Bobby Sarnevesht, the company’s success is due in no small part to the fact that it is the only major tech company not owned by Big Tech. “Our most important stakeholders are the artists and the influencers themselves,” says Sarnevesht. “What people don’t understand is that we’re not just ‘for the artists,’ we’re the artists.” With a celebrity roster spanning social media, music, sports and more, Sarnevesht claims that trills “could be the greatest creator-owned company ever”.
Check out the latest videos, charts and news
Check out the latest videos, charts and news
While Triller sees itself as a bold competitor to other social media platforms for video sharing, it doesn’t define itself as such. “A lot of people fell for Triller a few years ago when Trump first raised the idea of a ban [on the foreign competition]’ says Sarnevesht. “We definitely committed to it … but we’re not, that’s not how we define ourselves.”
Sarnevesht knows firsthand how difficult it is to build an audience on social media and is proud of Triller’s positioning as creator first. “I hear horror stories every day about hard-working artists who have spent the last three years building their fan base – be it to 5,000, 500,000 or 50 million people – only to wake up and find out [their platform] literally blocks them from marketing to their own audience if they don’t pay [them]. [These platforms] Set up a paywall where they actually prevent you from posting to all your own users without paying for… access [to] them,” says Sarnevesht.
On Triller, Sarnevesht explains, businesses are designed to give the creator direct responsibility for their relationship with their followers and maximize their revenues. “That’s why our products like Cliqz, our SMS app for influencers, achieve an open rate of over 70% and an outrageous click-through rate of over 30%,” says Sarnevesht. “Creators can literally make 10x or more with Triller [than] they can on any other platform.”
Triller claims to be majority owned by real artists, influencers and talent who in turn can maximize engagement with their followers and take home more revenue than other platforms where Big Tech takes the lion’s share. According to Sarnevesht, the company’s “secret recipe” lies in the use of AI. “Triller is an AI company at its core. The AI base comes from an acquisition about two years ago [when Triller bought AI startup] Amplify.AI,” says Sarnevesht. Sarnevesht and his team dub Triller’s conversational AI system “ChatGPT for Brands” and claim that the technology has powered over 20 billion conversations with more than half a billion users to date. “While others are just discovering ‘ChatGPT’ and trying to find an AI approach for assessment purposes, Triller is literally built on AI and always has been,” says Sarnevesht.
Ahead of what is sure to be the brand’s biggest year yet, Sarnevesht and his team launched a custom social media converter that allows developers to bring their entire video sharing accounts, including usernames, to Triller. “This is our coming-out party,” says Sarnevesht. “Transfer yours [other accounts] Now.”
For Sarnevesht and his team, Triller is not just a social media app, but a whole creator ecosystem in itself. According to Sarnevesht, Triller has made 10 acquisitions since 2020, making it more than a single app, but a marketplace that allows influencers, as Sarnevesht puts it, to create the best content and push it as far as possible above all other social Sharing media networks while maintaining control over their own users and maximizing what they can do.
Keep an eye on this area to learn more about Triller and Sarnevesht.