In December, 2020 Glance raised $145 million in funds from Google and Mithril Capital. This was in addition to the $200 million raised from Reliance Industries. Thus enabling Glance to become a unicorn. Established in 2019 as a subsidiary of InMobi, Glance is considered one of the best and most highly respected consumer internet business in India, having secured such digital platforms as Roposo and Shop101. This allows each of their over 175 million users to enjoy live-streaming entertainment on their lock screens. Together with Roposo, Glance was able to launch its first ever Glance Live Fest in early June of this year. Though Glance currently operates in India and Southeast Asia, they are planning to come to the states soon, though exact dates have yet to be announced.
20 Things You Didn't Know About Glance
As previously stated, Glance is heavily backed by Google which has complete control over the Android ecosystem. and with Android being the top operating system in the world, Glance sees nothing but success for its company's future endeavors. Gone are the days where the lock screen functioned as a place to view the weather and app icons. With the coming of Glance to the states, users will be able to partake in themed 'spaces' which appeal to them, engage in chat features and e-commerce. As it forges on, Glance anticipates that their own developer platform will assist in creating a more vibrant, fun and entertaining mobile experience for its users.
1. Glance is Not an Ad Platform
Recently, the rumor mill has been circulating some yellow journalism pieces regarding Glance and their lock screen technology. Basically, the mill is churning out rumors that once Glance touches down in the U.S., mobile lock screens will be set aside for ads. However, contrary to social media rumors, Glance is not an ad platform, it is for content. Glance transforms your lock screen into a smart surface. In fact, it intends to continue to operate only as a smart surface and never operate as an ad platform. Also, remember if you do not like Glance for any reason, you can disable it. If you still have concerns, you may choose to check out this article on Cnet.com which discusses the matter in more detail.
2. Glance Utilizes a "Buddy System"
In order to facilitate a new employees integration into the company, Glance utilizes a buddy system. This means that new employees are paired with an experienced one who acts as their buddy. This "buddy" guides them through their first couple weeks at the company. The buddy is responsible for introducing the new hire to the team and assist them in joining company activities. This isn't a new philosophy. Way back in 2015 Glance's parent company InMobi initiated a "Live Life to the Fullest" philosophy, meaning life should be enjoyable both at work and away from work.
3. Glance Believes in its Kindness Initiative
“An organization can grow only when its associates are growing and associates can grow only when its organization is growing.” The world during the pandemic found that businesses like Glance needed to focus on kindness more than ever before. Concepts followed in their Kindness Initiate include: Communication, employee recognition, celebration of achievements, include levity throughout the day, compliments, recognizing employees strengths.
4. Glance Believes That Control Belongs to the Customer
A major element of Glance's business philosophy involves the customer. They believe that it's the user that decides what they see on the lock screen, not them. "Glance will be a 100 percent opt-in platform in the US in the spirit of empowerment of consumers and all privacy legislations." In other words, users have the opportunity to customize the content that appears on their lock screen.
5. Glance Turns Lock Screens into "Smart Surfaces"
What does Glance do? Quite simply, Glance transforms your lock screen into a smart surface. Here, your lock screen becomes a surface that provides you with digital experiences that are designed to enrich the users life. Not an ad platform, Glance promises that you'll never see an add on the lock screen.
6. Adding Value to the Lives of Users is Glance's Main Vision
The driving force behind Glance's business philosophy is to add value to the users digital experiences. The way this is achieved is to turn a traditionally static lock screen into a smart surface, transforming the lock screen from a static screen to a dynamic one. Glance sees the lock screen as having untapped potential. In other words, instead of simply being a place for icons, it can now become a smart surface where the user can engage in live-stream content.
7. Glance Spaces are "Live Experience Zones"
Glance Spaces are live experience zones. This means that your phones lock screen allows you to select certain topics that interest you. Here, each "glance" is a new topic of interest. Not just an image mind you, but an image coupled with informative content that matches your interest. Say you're interested in the latest news or sports scores. All you need to do is set up a news space or sports space where the content you're interested in is fed right into that space.
8. Did You Know that Glance was Planning Its U.S. Launch?
At the time of this writing, Glance is planning its launch in the states. However, there is no set launch date at the moment. Those of you who are eager to become part of the Glance family and enjoy their lock screen tech, you can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. By doing so you'll be kept in the loop as to when the launch will happen. Currently, India holds a 90 percent share of Glances market. President of Glance, Piyush Shah envisions the U.S. as having 30 to 35 percent . Sadly, there is a slight pushback due to unfounded and incorrect rumors that Glance is an ad platform, which it is not. Glance is a content based platform designed to enrich the lives of users.
9. Glance is Planning to Launch a Developer Platform Soon
Glance takes its role in lock screen content extremely seriously. They believe that the lock screen must not only be visually pleasing, but also provide the user the utmost in privacy. The content which appears on the lock screen carefully crafted by company's which work in tandem with Glance instead of the user. To help move this forward, Glance is planning to launch the Glance Developer Platform. This platform will offer these developers an extraordinary way to craft user experiences.
10. Glance Acquires Shop101
In 2021 Glance acquired the successful e-commerce platform, Shop101. By doing so, Glance will be able to launch commerce by both influencers and celebrities via live stream. In this way, Glance hopes to take mobile commerce and turn it into a whole new experience. Glance has over 125 million users and the addition of Shop101 adds a tested e-commerce platform to their stable will also ensure that Shop101's customers will benefit as well. According to Piyush Shah, President & COO, Glance. “With Shop101’s technology, partners and hugely talented team, we are in a great position to create this new form of mobile commerce at a global scale."
11. Glance Launches the Glance LIVE Fest
On June 3 to the 5 Glance launched its first ever Live Fest. The Glance Life Fest or GLF is designed to be festival of entertainment which would be presented to users via the Glance lock screen. One of the main celebrities was Bollywood star Rajkummar Rao. Needless to say, the fest was a success with users. Though the fest is over, you can still visit their site (https://live.glance.com/) and check out all the live-streamed content coming up.
12. Glance Acquired Gaming Company Gambit
March 25, 2022 saw Glance announce its acquisition of Gambit Sports. The acquisition is meant to beef up its sporting division by engaging in NFT-based live gaming to users via its lock screen platform. This was an impressive acquisition since Gambit had well over 45 million users, 40 percent of which were females.
13. Glance Teams Up with Smart Phone Company realme
Realme is a brand of smart phones manufactured by realme, (yes, a small letter 'r') Chongqing Mobile Telecommunications, Shenzhen, China. In 2021 they partnered with Glance, baking their lock screen content tech into their phone's OS. Targeted towards the citizens of India and Indonesia, Glance is set to reach over 30 million users in India and 7 million in Indonesia by the end of 2022. By doing so, Glance will have cemented their lock screen tech in those countries.
14. Glance Invests in Collective Artists Network
As the Glance Live Fest proved, people are responsive to the entertainment factor provided by Glance. The presentation of live-streaming 5 star entertainers is most certainly a draw for users. As such Glance decided to broaden their selection of top talent by investing in the Collective Artists Network of India. The Collective Artists Network is the place in India to find the best talent in the country. Their website says it best, "Cinema, OTT, Television, Music, Sports, Digital and Regional, we exclusively represent the largest portfolio of talent (Celebrities, influencers and content creators) across Actors, Script-Writers, Sportspersons, Directors, Producers, Singers, Composers, Comedians, Digital Stars, Authors and more." By investing in the Collective Artists Network, Glance has access to an incredible stable of talent which will benefit the creator-content economy as well as Glance. Whatever the users taste in entertainment, be it sports, news, music or film, the Collective Artists Network will be able to supply it.
15. Glance Acquires Roposo
Roposo is a successful multi-media platform that blends creator content, commerce and live streaming entertainment with an estimated 42 million users. Roposo users can view content on different channels as well as enjoy a chat feature and participate in e-commerce. Established in 2013, Roposo aims to create an economy driven by creators. In 2019 Glance acquired the short-video platform Roposo, which then became a business unit of Glance. As a result Glance gained access to Roposo's extensive network of content creators and proprietorship of its technology.
16. Did You Know that Glance CEO Founded India's First Unicorn?
Did you know that Naveen Tewari founded the very first unicorn in India? Well it's true. Glance founder and CEO was also the first unicorn founder in India. As such, Naveen became one of the best known personalities in India's startup world as he entered it way before much was known about it. Having graduated from IIT and Harvard Business School, Naveen took his academic knowledge, blended it with great success in the real world of business and hence became known as the founder of not one, but two unicorns.
17. Glance Projects its User Base to Expand to One Billion Users within 2 to 3 Years
On June 21, 2022 Glance CEO and founder Naveen Tewari stated that Glance's platform would attain a worldwide audience within 2 to 3 years, "Our consumer part of the business has multiple large consumer properties. Glance is among one of the most differentiated lock screen platforms.". So far Glance is only used in India and Indonesia. However, with plans to expand to the U.S. shortly, it's only a matter of time before Glance receives world-wide attention.
18. Glance Teamed Up with Device Makers to Integrate its Lock screen Technology Within the Operating System
Glance isn't your average, everyday piece of smart phone tech. You see, its lock screen platform tech is actually integrated or baked into each mobile operating system. In other words, there is no lock screen app to download. You can only get this tech by purchasing smart phones which have it built into their operating systems at the time of purchase. Companies who've partnered with Glance include Samsung, realme, Vivo, Motorola, Xiaomi, with more to be added in the future.
19. User Privacy is the Utmost Concern at Glance
As we've previously learned, users cannot install Glance's lock screen tech, which means that users cannot uninstall it either. This has lead users to have privacy concerns regarding the safety of their own personal data. However, Glance assures you that if you don't wish to use their lock screen platform you can disable it. They also let users know that their personal privacy is a priority, and every effort is made to secure their data.
20. Glance Decides to Add More Live First Creator Content
Glance co-founder Piyush Shah stated that he believed it was time to add more "creator-led video content". The reason being that standard, short and passive video experience wasn't providing as much user attention. As such, the decision was made to make the Glance experience more interactive for users. Thus the idea to blend commerce and entertainment on Glance was born. In other words, users could learn how to groom their poodle via live-stream while viable dog grooming product decisions.
With the advent of the public internet, our world received a taste of content. As such, there is currently more content being created than ever before. Indeed, one might say that we have evolved into a species which "snacks" on fresh content, treating it as a form of mental culinary delight for the brain. Glance made the active and conscious decision on how to address this content and how it's embraced by the user. For Glance, content exists to entertain, serve and enlighten users, not be a tasteless thing that is stuffed down their throats. By joining with such digital companies like Shop101, Roposo and more, Glance can do this. Their development of Glance Spaces further empowers users to have a say in content without being controlled by it. By utilizing a smart screen, Glance can accomplish this with great ease. So, sit back, relax and grab a donut because Glance has just made content a viable and enriching part of your life.
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Written by Allen Lee
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