Douyin, regarded as a clone of its US counterpart Musical.ly, is a short-video App with powerful editing capabilities. Indeed, it enables users to add music and effects to their videos in order to make them more interesting. Douyin was launched in September 2016 and took off in 2017, reaching over 100 million users within a year and becoming the number two ranked app overall in the Apple Chinese App store and first in the video and photo category. The platform has now 32.5 million users. More than 1 billion videos are viewed every day on Douyin and this number is still growing. Chinese are creating and consuming more videos via their smartphones than ever.
The difference with others Chinese short video apps
Douyin is focused on user-generated content (UGC) in terms of unique downloads and is related to Bytedance, a content platform that enable users to enjoy contents powered by AI technology, so with algorithms Douyin’s users see what they want to see on the app. First, the app was launched to record a short video with a song. Users first choose from a list of background music. The app records them while they do whatever they want for fifteen seconds. Then, users share the video on the app or other social media platforms. Now, Chinese are shouting their daily life and are making videos about music, food or fashion. Most of these short videos are funny and users can easily swipe from a video to another.
Douyin 抖音, Meipai 美拍 and Kuaishou 快手 are the three short videos apps dominating the market in China.
Kuaishou has an easy-to-use interface and is mostly present in third-tier and fouth-tier cities in China. Its content consists mostly of users showing off wealth or flirty behavior, its attracts mostly male and smaller cities dwellers whereas Meipai attracts mostly young and urban females. Douyin is expecting to attract the latter because they are more valued by advertisers and investors alike. Indeed, 80% of the app’s users are under the age of 30, 66% are female and over 40% live in first-tier and second-tiers cities, such as Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu or Fuzhou. Douyin appeals to more educated audience due to the content which is more fun and quirky.
Douyin has a lot of opportunities to go abroad and it began its growth by changing the name for Tik Tok to launch the app worldwide. The app has already been launched in many Asian countries, such as Indonesia, Japan or Thailand where the app ranks number one among free app downloads on App stores.
Is Douyin the right platform for marketing ?
Using Douyin to increase the user’s engagement for three main reasons :
Douyin, which means “shaking music” in Chinese, enables users to make a video, add various filters and speed options like time lapse and slow motion. The app also has its own style and users can still recognize the platform even if the watermark is cut off. Therefore, it allows more creativity and possibilities for the promotion of a brand or a product.
They appear like role models for the young generation of Chinese people. It can be very interesting and smart to use Douyin associated with influencers to promote your company. Challenges are also trendy on Douyin. You can launch your campaign while influencers share their challenge related to your brand and encourage their followers to join in and make their own video.
Run an Online campaigns
Douyin is recently arrived on the Chinese short video market, so campaigns tend to get much more visibility on the app. Running an online campaign can be very expansive, especially on the most well known Chinese social media such as Wechat or Weibo. However, running a campaign on Douyin is quite cheap. You can directly have a partnership with Douyin for a wide visibility and, therefore, virality. An example is the challenge “Karma is a bitch” launched in 2017 on Douyin whose videos became viral around the world. Moreover, you can collaborate with the platform to create customized branded filters and video backdrops. Finally, links to products on Taobao and Tmall can be included in influencers’ videos. So, Douyin influencers have the ability to drive direct sales for your company.
The Chinese market of short videos app will be more and more flourishing given that Tencent and Alibaba are investing to develop short videos on their online platforms.
The short video app Douyin now has the opportunity to become a worldwide leader in this market and it maybe will become the first Chinese app to successfully reach foreign markets. Therefore, international expansion is one of the main opportunity and challenge in the future for the platform.
GMA is a digital marketing agency based in Shanghai and we can help you to develop your company in China. Our international team of 40 experts makes us an ideal agency to develop your interests in China. Do not hesitate to contact us !