NEW DELHI: In its push for page views, Jack Ma-owned Alibaba’s UC Browser is betting big on added services to attract users.
“We have 80 million monthly active users on our browser,” said Kenny Ye, general manger of UCWeb, which launched ‘UC News’ on Monday. It already has cricket feed for live scores and match updates, and a tie-up with Hungama for Bollywood music.
News will be a separate mobile application, but UC Browser users will also receive news. “We want to be the No. 1 discovery platform in India,” Kenny said.
The browser gets seven million users every day for music, and its page view market share in India is 58%, according to StatCounter. UCWeb wants to make sense of user behaviour using big data and analytics. “We match users’ profiles to information that they are looking for… We have created categories,” said Kenny. For example, if someone reads a lot on fashion, they will see more information on latest trends. Such information is relevant for brands to push their products.
Digital advertising revenue follows high user bases — Google and Facebook dominate that space. In the years to come digital ads will grow faster than any other form of advertising from $81.1 billion in 2016, , according to consultancy firm KPMG. It will become $255.2 billion in 2020.
UCWeb is also helping companies to compress it websites for easier and faster mobile browsing. “We helped Flipkart to improve their browsing experience with Flipkart Lite (a lighter version of the main site),” said Kenny.
But there is a catch. If UC Browser passes browsing information, Flipkart can show its buyers more relevant products. Last year, a Canadian research firm Citizen Labs alleged that UC Browser leaked sensitive user data in return of $1 billion. Kenny said it doesn’t mine individual data.