Who is the brain behind ScoopWhoop?
ScoopWhoop has five co-founders — Rishi Mukherjee, Sriparna Tikekar, Suparn Pandey, Saransh Singh and me. The five of us graduated from iimc. Rishi, Saransh, Suparn and I worked as copywriters for Webchutney previously, while Sriparna was with an online fashion brand. We started working for ScoopWhoop in August 2013 and took the leap, quitting our jobs, in November.
What is the idea behind your website?
ScoopWhoop is news for the social age. Keeping humans emotions at the centre, we create easy-to- consume share-worthy content that has a viral quotient. Indians consume a lot of foreign content through websites like Buzzfeed, Upworthy and ThoughtCatalog. But there was no Indian website doing that kind of entertainment-oriented content. Our target audience is the ‘90s kids, who grew with the Internet. Demographically, it is the 18-35 age group that is primarily active in the metros.
How powerful are visuals and listicles in creating content?
10 images can easily convey what 1,000 words can tell otherwise, without compromising on detail. Similarly, the list format appeals to readers because they know if it says ‘10 things’, it will not be more than 10 and it takes less time to read than a full feature. Both of these help create articles that are easy to comprehend and can be delivered in bite-sized packet. Our content creation is broadly divided in two parts — curated and contributed. We dig up old videos on the Internet and package them with attractive headlines.
Is there a mounting competition?
After ScoopWhoop, over 20 different websites with Indian content have emerged. If I have to choose competitors, I’d say Buzzfeed India and Storypick. Honestly, given the dearth of good viral content in India, I think we can all peacefully co-exist. Other than that, we have been lucky in terms of investors — money was not a problem. Brands have started reaching out to us and consistency in numbers has given us confidence. The challenge is to keep creating innovative content because I don’t think two years down the line, list formats and images will work. We are planning to explore avenues like humour, play, politics, sports and food.