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MRKTRS WKLY #57 — As Vine died, a behemoth rose from their ashes (now its the worlds most downloaded app)

📍 Beijing, China


In 2013, Vine was hot. It was THE mobile video app. But it quickly became a fad, it struggled to adapt when Instagram and Snapchat entered the market and couldn’t scale through Twitter. Nor could it monetize.

So why is it, that Douyin a.k.a Tik Tok, has become the most downloaded app in the world? What did Douyin do differently from Vine?

Founded by 35-year-old Zhang Yiming, Douyin launched in China around the time Vine entered an archived state.The app’s success basically boils down to this:

Machine learning + inspiration through music and trends

  • ByteDance uses algorithms to power content discovery in its various apps, that allow viewers to have an enjoyable experience when they don’t have a large social graph. Similarly, with the right algorithms, regular creators can get discovered even without a large following.
  • Music serves as the inspiration (a 5–15s music clip plays in the background) and defines what creators do in the video.
  • Viewers can browse Douyin’s discover tab to see trending content for inspiration. The Douyin team actively curates new trends with its top creators.

So, the ByteDance Ltd train is showing no signs of slowing down. They purchased to establish a foothold in the US (it’s now #4 in US photos and video app downloads).

But there’s still one big Zuckerberg-shaped wall in the way — and that’s IG stories. It’s still king for short video. They have 400 million daily active users compared to Douyin’s 150M.

However what works in Douyin’s favour is their short videos are more than just showing off your life — it’s about showcasing your creativity. It’s like the short form Youtube. It’s creator-focused.

Check out this piece from Peter Yang (Product at Twitch) for more on the rapid rise of Douyin, from the ashes of Vine (incl screenshots of the app).

>>

P.S Here’s a good read on founder Zhang Yiming & his ByteDance Ltd behemoth


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Stay tuned for the next edition of MRKTRS WKLY.

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Originally published at on October 19, 2018.



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