AS TECHNOLOGY begins to shape the future of Myanmar people thanks to the rise in smartphone use, a handful of young technicians have been busy gathering in an apartment to establish a platform for tech reviews.
The result of their work is TBH Labs, under the guidance of founder Aung Cham Myae.
Myanmar’s young people have become more interested in informal education on social media platforms, including Facebook, he said in an exclusive interview. This trend motivated him to introduce an online platform under which technical knowledge about mobile phones and personal computers is shared with the creation of short videos.
“In this digital age, everything becomes faster than ever thanks to advanced technology. We need to catch up with the latest trends,” said Aung Cham Myae. “Otherwise, we will be left behind. That is why we launched this platform in 2016.”
“In our country, almost everyone, including children and the elderly, have a Facebook account. Sometimes, they can get tired of looking at their news feed only. Then, they may think of watching knowledge-based video content. We are trying to become the best choice for them.”
Short video clips make up more than 95 per cent of the content on the site, and they typically last from three to 10 minutes and succeed in arousing the interest of young people, Aung Cham Myae said. Nearly 100,000 people usually visit the platform every day.
“When we first launched, there was no online platform for tech reviews. Most of the people had to rely on weekly tech publications to learn about the pros and cons of the latest mobile phones, technology or tech accessories,” Aung Cham Myae said.”
“Most of them had to cooperate with major mobile brands to write reviews about the latest models due to budget constraint. So, we want to provide the people with unbiased and honest reviews that do not need to favour any sponsor companies.”
He takes pride in the platform’s name, TBH, which stands for “to be honest.” He considers honesty as the platform’s core value, which is driving the growth in TBH Labs. It is enjoying nearly 10 per cent growth rate on a monthly basis. Every review receives an average of 50,000 likes on Facebook, and the site’s most popular content has gained more than 2.2 million likes.
TBH Labs focuses on mobiles, PCs, laptops and tech accessories, including consumer audio headsets. Yet, depending on the viewers’ demand, 80 per cent of their reviews analyse mobile phones, with rest for other product types, said Aung Cham Myae.
“We always make sure to upload at least two new video clips every day, so that more people become aware of our platform. We usually try to review as many of the latest models of mobile phones as we can. Though we now have some cooperation with the big companies, they always ensure our reviews are totally fair and transparent,” he said.
New video clips are usually posted at around 8am and 8pm, which he considers the best time to attract the viewers’ attention. Yet, there are sometimes inevitable delays in posting new content due to limited capacity and investment, he added.
“We are just a team of four who always live in this apartment. |This is our office, our studio and also our home. Our hobby and passion for technology make us live together through thick and thin, just like real brothers,” Aung Cham Myae said.
He aims to focus on improving the quality of the video clips rather than expanding the workforce. Instead of efforts to seek funding from international organisations and sponsor companies, he expects to stick to objectivity in reviewing new products.
“Our short-term aim is to become Myanmar’s leading tech content platform. In the longer term, we hope to expand our reach to overseas viewers by creating video content in English,” he said.