The pain of trying to distribute content through Sasai

Written on the 26th of June, 2021

Trying to figure out Sasai is living in Spain without the S (Photo by Norma Mortenson from Pexels)

It’s been a while since I last wrote on this blog. One of the reasons for that is because I just haven’t been journaling as much as I want to but another is because I’ve been incredibly busy…

One of the things that has kept me incredibly busy is The Story Untold ZW — a channel I started with the goal of exposing Zimbabwean entrepreneurs/creatives/artists who have taken a leap and in doing so created unique businesses, brands and stories.

Making content is incredibly complicated because not only do you have to make quality content, you also have to distribute it in a great way. How can people appreciate “quality content” when they don’t even know it exists? So we’ve been hard at work trying to come up with a content distribution strategy for every conceivable channel (check out our LinkTree to see where you can find us). PS:Podcast coming soon…

Every conceivable channel includes Sasai Watch. Yes, despite not knowing how many people are on the platform and how far we can spread our reach we are uploading shorter form content on the platform as part of our “user acquisition strategy”. Unfortunately uploading to Sasai hasn’t been a fantastic experience and here are some of my views as a content creator trying to figure out Sasai…

Discoverability issues

What I imagine Sasai users faced by multiple distractions within the app to be (Photo by Dominika Roseclay from Pexels)

A big problem we’ve had with Sasai Watch is the fact that despite having a channel on the platform, there’s no easy way to access our channel link on the platform. So we can’t add our Sasai channel to our LinkTree which by extension means if we have people who discover us and their platform of choice is Sasai, they have no intuitive way of knowing that we even exist on that platform. They have to watch us on other platforms.

In addition to the issue of channel links, navigating the application is also a nightmare. If someone wants to find us on Sasai they have to:

Open the app > go to the explore page > go to Sasai Watch >then search for the channel (unless its in their subscriptions already — which won’t be the case for first time users).

This would be fixed with LINKS but even then there’s still a big problem. Sasai’s Explore page has many other tabs to choose from. In this day and age where consumers have the attention span of a 9 week-old puppy, Sasai’s Watch, Live, Podcast and Moments tabs could all grab attention away before they go to the Watch tab. When you’ve uploaded content to Watch it doesn’t appear in any other tab and so if the consumer gets drawn to another tab, good luck getting that view…

Let’s talk about the content itself

Beyond discoverability, the bigger problem we’ve actually had is with uploading the content itself. Sometimes content simply fails to upload and there is no clear explanation as to why a video that we’ve uploaded on YouTube, Instagram and TikTok with no issues refuses to play ball here.

When it does upload, it takes an ungodly amount of time to do so. Over 12 hours on two occasions. After uploading, each video begins to “transcode” —don’t ask me what that means. Most times when the content starts transcoding, I just leave the app because I know it’s going to take forever to do so and this is unlike any other network we upload to. YouTube uploads in the blink of an eye. TikTok and Instagram as well. On Facebook and LinkedIn we embed from YouTube so it’s not an issue at all.

At the moment it’s safe to argue that content creators don’t have much of a reason to be on Sasai for because the platform hasn’t made it clear what Sasai’s advantage over existing and larger platforms is. Uploading content to Sasai is similar to when that dog that’s been abused tries to bite the one person who’s actually trying to show it some love for a change.

Sasai side-eyeing content creators trying to show it some love… (Photo by Blue Bird from Pexels)

Fix the damn thing! Please

Most content creators simply do not give Sasai the time of day. As mentioned before, there are better platforms with wider reach and serious creators usually just focus on those. By having all these teething problems Sasai isn’t doing itself any favours especially considering they are playing catch up…

Sasai content creator… Or user. It could be either if I’m being honest… (Photo by Alex Green from Pexels)

If you do use Sasai, search for “The Story Untold ZW” in the Watch section. If you’re not an early adopter, you can still find us on other popular platforms (YouTube, FB, IG & TikTok) using the same The Story Untold ZW moniker… Subs, follows and likes are always appreciated.

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Farai Mudzingwa

Farai Mudzingwa

Founder of The Story Untold ZW — a Zimbabwean media startup shining light on local entrepreneurs/creatives who aren’t getting coverage in traditional media