To help big brands tap into the opinions of their younger target audience, Youplus, a unique video opinion search engine by Shaukat Shamim—the mind behind the Yahoo Messenger—has come up with the most extensive index of short-form video opinions and a search engine to understand people’s opinion from videos.
In a conversation with CIO Applications, Shamim, the founder and CEO of Youplus, talks about his entrepreneurial journey with Youplus, and the company’s expansion plans.
From being the developer of Yahoo Messenger to the founder and CEO of Youplus, can you elucidate on your journey so far? What was the inspiration behind Youplus?
My entrepreneurial journey started right after college. I ended up creating two companies with reasonable success. However, my quest for learning saw me joining Symantec and Microsoft, and then Yahoo. In Yahoo, I first witnessed the wave and growth of the internet. Also, my stint with Yahoo made me think about how people and companies chase their own dreams.
Today, a majority of traffic on the internet comes through videos. Recently, Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, has commented that he views videos as a megatrend.
Our company developed the world’s first Video Opinion Intelligence Engine, the most advanced AI and Machine Learning platform that separates salient sections of opinions from videos to unlock consumer opinions and experience insights
Consequently, when businesses want to understand people’s feelings and buying patterns of consumers, they still rely on a focus group study. For the focus group study, businesses need to do market research, recruit a panel, and wait for a long time to interpret the focus group’s opinion. We realized the potential of videos long back and placed our bet on the same by launching Youplus in 2016.
Considering Youplus is one of the forerunners of video content analysis, can you kindly elaborate on the solutions offering and capabilities of Youplus?
Youplus’ mission is to “Understand a Billion People through Video.” Insight search is about understanding why someone is saying what he is saying: “can we understand the hidden things he is not saying with his words?” For example, in a text-format, one may say ‘I like something,’ and that has only one meaning. On the flip side, when one is looking at or talking to somebody, he can say “I like it” in a hundred different ways that can actually mean he does not like it. Youplus is the world’s first Video Opinion Intelligence Search Engine. So, the product offerings of Youplus focus on understanding people through videos, and we come with a broad understanding thesis of content analysis. What we are building is similar to Google for video content.
Our company developed VOISE to separate salient sections of opinion from videos into single-topic short-form video opinions. Further, Youplus’ cognitive AI engine interprets and indexes the rich, meaningful opinion that people share in videos. We have created the largest catalog of single-topic short-form opinion videos. The internet has evolved beyond the text, and we are the only company in the world that measures video information to help companies with insights that dive deeper into customer behavior. They can leverage real opinions and real facts of real people to enhance decision-making and consumer experience for enhanced customer relationships with their consumers.
Additionally, we do something called CCC (country, community, culture) adjustments. People from different background see the same things differently. Since our objective is to understand insights about people’s opinion, we need to understand the nuances of culture, community, and country. We have also been training our neural network to understand different cues that people leave in different languages, different cultures, and different countries.
Can you shed some light on your general clientele? Also, how does the road ahead look for Youplus?
We currently have over 800 of the biggest brands/agencies as their customers, including Tyson, eBay, Unilever, BMW, Proctor & Gamble, Samsung, Coca-Cola, and Colgate. They are in industries like FMCG, automotive, electronics, banking, pharmaceuticals, and we have hundreds of clients globally. In India, we have worked some of the most iconic brands in FMCG, automotive and electronics.
Right now, we are in a hyper-growth stage. We have made a few conclusive decisions. We saw a tenfold growth in 2018, and we have the ambition of growing another 10X this year too. The growth is very much inclined with global demand. We will continue to have a worldwide presence and enter more countries and help business close the communication gap with their younger target audience.