App of the Week: VMate
Amongst the many platforms that gained popularity during the pandemic, some will be remembered for their infamous controversies (read: Zoom), and numerous will be known for coming to aid during the trying times.
Known as the ‘rural TikTok’, you may not have heard about VMate, but the app has gained momentum for supporting creators from rural areas, who have created content and earned for themselves. Keeping in mind the outbreak, the app made headlines by roping in healthcare professionals to spread awareness in the rural pockets of the country.
What is VMate?
Following the lines of the popular short-video creation app, TikTok, VMate allows users to create, and watch, short videos from 15 to 60 seconds. You may also like, share or comment on the various videos. Popular creators on VMate also end up earning anywhere up to Rs 1 to 2 lakh a month!
How to use VMate?
On downloading the app from the App Store or Google Play Store, you will require to create a login ID. You may choose between Google and Facebook to log in and create your very own VMate profile.
Once you’re through creating a profile, you can like, share and comment on various videos -- aside from following popular content creators.
A button below which reads ‘shoot’ can be used to create a quick short video, up to 60 seconds, for your followers.
You can also add various effects, stickers, filters and music to your video.
After doing so, you can go ahead and select a suitable thumbnail, title and apply hashtags before posting it online.
Your video can now be found both online, as well as offline.
Fighting the COVID-19 outbreak
The app was quick to take initiatives after the coronavirus outbreak began in India, and deployed medical officers and healthcare workers who ensured that the users get relevant information about the virus. Amidst other initiatives, VMate was in the news after launching a profile called ‘Myth Buster’, wherein info sourced from WHO was presented in an interactive and animated format. Hindi text was incorporated with an audio voiceover for the user’s convenience.
While video creation apps haven’t always done us well (the recent TikTok controversy is proof in itself!) but VMate’s #21DaysChallenge, which was brought about to keep users engaged while staying at their homes, was an interesting take that made the most with the available resources. The app encouraged those in rural areas to utilise the lockdown period by adhering to social distancing and engaging themselves in creative activities.
VMate may not have big numbers to boast, but its participation in combating the outbreak successfully grabbed the attention of the public and has now begun to see a surge in the downloads. The interface of the app will remind you of your regular Snapchat and Instagram stories, and you may also feel that it is created more for the accessibility aspect. However, the easy availability of inappropriate content on the app appears as a ticking time bomb to us. However, gauging it’s rising popularity, we can only hope that the app takes measures to notice the same and build upon its reputation in the coming future.
Google Play Rating: 4.1/5
App Store Rating: 4/5
TBC Rating: 3/5