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Creators meet Commerce- Walkthrough of Chinese Tiktok- Douyin(抖音)
Tiktok's inception lies in Douyin (抖音)- the Chinese version of Tiktok. Gathering 600M+ DAU and $77B+ GMV (2020), it would be exciting to walk through this genius product!
Tiktok is taking the world by storm, as one of the most downloaded apps in the world. In May 2021, it recorded 80M+ installs- most downloaded non-gaming app. This is in spite of the app's continuing ban in India since a year.
It has also instigated Facebook to launch Instagram reels, Snapchat to launch spotlight.
It used to be said that China tech used to ride on innovation from US tech but looks like things have flipped other way round.
So who is behind this rocketship? Bytedance(字节跳动）
Started in 2012, Bytedance is a Beijing based tech company which operates various mobile apps globally- including Tiktok and Douyin 抖音 (Chinese version of Tiktok). The company is valued at ~$425B, most recently. Source
One of the key apps which has enabled this growth for the company is Douyin (抖音)- China’s version of Tiktok- with 600M+ DAUs in September 2020; $77B+ GMV in 2020; and 88 minutes spent daily per active user. This app has been super entertaining for me, as I get to practice mandarin learning while watching the funny short videos!
Let’s begin the walk through of the product, as of June 26, 2021.
Social Commerce 1.0
It lets creators make a shopping list and recommend it to their fans. Once the fans make purchase, creator gets a commission from the purchase and Bytedance takes care of the fulfilment.
Multi Channel Network- Talent Agency - Xingtu
Creators with 10K+ followers can be listed on Bytedance’s MCN Platform- Xingtu and cooperate with brands. On the other side, brands can engage with Tiktok creators directly through Xingtu, in a productised fashion with detailed insights on their goals- like product review, app promotions, etc.
Social Commerce 2.0- Live Streaming
Live streaming is a great channel for brands to push out products and offers; and the experience for users is native, without having to switch between many pages.
Social Commerce 3.0- Virtual Gifting
Various other formats of engagement are available for live streaming- performances, live karaoke, live audio discussion rooms, etc. The creators are incentivised to create these engagements for virtual gifting which they can redeem in cash rewards from the platform.
The account page is very vivid along with a wallet which can be recharged for sending virtual gifts and e-shopping on the platform. It’s interesting to note the creator service centre which has resources to help users become creators followed up with a full fledged creator university. Strong focus on UGC is just amazing!
One of the major drivers of Douyin’s growth is its easy and fun to use creator tool, which makes video creation a breeze, enabling tons of UGC! One of my favourite features is the auto subtitling which transcribes and places the subtitles on the video, in no time.
Social in nature!
It’s very convenient to share the videos with friends (in and outside the app) and the chat experience is lively, encouraging more chat lines and content sharing amongst friends.
Having seen various short video products, nothing stands close to Douyin so far, kudos to the large team of Product Managers who have executed well on the vision of ‘creator meets commerce’. Hope it also produces some insights and inspiration for short video companies in other parts of the world.
If you are gathering more insights from China consumer internet/ building exciting early stage company, drop me a line here: firstname.lastname@example.org, happy to chat!