Everything you need to know about Douyin (Tik Tok)

Tout savoir sur Douyin (Tik Tok)


What is the most popular app in China?

You’re probably thinking about WeChat. While this may still be true, WeChat now has a serious competitor who’s meteoric rise has taken WeChat owner Tencent by surprise.

This competitor is Douyin, Tik Tok, one of the most popular short video applications in China and the world. It is owned by ByteDance, a media company focused on AI (artificial intelligence) in China, recently valued at $30 billion.


I) An app that has become a must-have

Douyin is one of the few applications that has enjoyed wild popularity inside and outside China. In the first quarter of 2018, the international version of Douyin, Tik Tok, was the most downloaded iPhone app in the world.


a) More and more users

This app has become so popular that a user spends an average of 20.5 minutes a day on the app, according to Jiguang Data.

Since each video lasts 15 seconds, that’s 82 videos a day.

Douyin also had to develop an “addiction system” in April to remind users when they spent too much time on the app.


b) How it works

Unlike most video apps, there is no “play” or “pause” button on Douyin. Once you open the app, a video starts immediately. You scroll through a 15-second bottomless stream of videos, as does how you scroll through photos on Instagram.

The most popular types of content on Douyin are dances, comedies, babies, food, pets, pranks, and stunts.

c) Some data on Douyin users

  • Nearly 50% of users are over the age of 24
  • 60% are women
  • About 40% of them live in first- and second-tier cities


II) How to explain Douyin’s ascent

So what makes Douyin so attractive? Here are eight lessons that Western companies can learn from the application.


1) Helping creators grow

Douyin treats his best influencers almost like his employees. It actively promotes them by subsidizing their trafficking.

In November 2017, ByteDance hosted a conference celebrating its content creators and announced that it will spend $300 million to help them increase subscriber numbers and generate revenue.

Its goal is now to pass the milestone of 1000 influencers with more than one million followers in the coming year.

2) Unleashing the creativity of ordinary people

Many viral videos about Douyin are not created by celebrities, but by ordinary people who create creative or impressive content.


3) Thematic marketing

Some videos created regularly launch hashtags that serve as trend themes or themes on the platform. Hundreds of thousands of people took part in the production of videos on the same theme.


4) Easy content creation

Douyin provides tools that allow anyone with a smartphone and a good idea to create a 15-second video that could potentially go viral. These tools include a large library of background music, a variety of filters and even phone accessories that help users hold their phone in place while they shoot videos.

5) Turn the comments section into a social hub

Douyin allows users to watch a video and read their comments at the same time, so you don’t need to pause the video to see the comments.

Some people say that the only reason they use Douyin is to see its comment section, which has become a social center where users interact.

6) A personalized recommendation is essential

Douyin’s basic skill is to make use of machine learning and algorithms to determine what type of content would appeal to particular users based on their past viewing behavior.

In this way, every user can constantly discover new creators and almost all will realize content that will please them.


7) When there is content, there is trade

Douyin allows creators to integrate product links into their videos, allowing a seamless transition from content to commerce.

8) Take it global

One year after Douyin’s launch in China, its English version, Tik Tok, was launched in multiple international markets and quickly rose to the top of the App Store in Thailand, Indonesia, Japan, and South Korea.

As a result, using an international application also allows viral effects to spread globally.



So these eight lessons can allow apps starting in the industry to learn more about conquering Chinese and foreign consumers.

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