Daxue Talks transcript #8: Key figures and insights on Douyin in 2019

Find here the Daxue Talks episode 8. From the talk with Fabian learn in 2-5 minutes about some key figures and insights on Douyin in 2019.

Full transcript below:

My name is Fabian, I am the founder and co-director of UPLAB, a company where we help influencers become better at who they are and at the same time we do influencer marketing mainly specialized in Douyin, for China.

  1. What is Douyin?

Douyin is a short video and music app where everybody can become famous in a couple of seconds. It’s one of the most popular apps in China right now, mainly used by the younger generation Gen Z and Millennials.

Key figures and insights on Douyin

2. Can you present Douyin in a few figures? (evolution, number of users, target audience, number of videos posted per day, etc.)

So, Douyin has 250 million daily active users and 500 million monthly active users, from what they presented a couple of months ago. What I mentioned earlier it’s mainly used by people from Gen Z and Millennials but the gray-haired generation is also starting to use it more, partly to kind of monitor their younger generation family and friends, I guess. So, I think that’s it.

3. Are there any internet challenges on Douyin (like Ice Bucket challenge or this kind of things), what are the current ones?

Douyin is actually mainly driven by challenges like how Weibo also is in China. So, every single day there are different types of challenges, sometimes initiated by KOLs, sometimes by companies or sometimes by doing itself. These challenges are sometimes just for 24 hours, sometimes for a week and sometimes they go on for a couple of months, really depending on the popularity of the challenge itself.

4. What is the most viewed video ever on Douyin in China?

I don’t know exactly the most popular video but there are a couple of very popular challenges. Usually how Douyin kind of video getting popular is driven through these challenges. So, people are participating in a particular challenge and then some of these videos become very popular but it’s part of the challenge so that’s how Douyin itself works.

I think a very popular challenge on Douyin definitely recently was from Oppo Reno – so, Oppo the smartphone company – with Reno. They actually did very well on Douyin because they had a particular type of video which was very easy to copy for their target audience, and at the same time they had a very addictive song which gone very popular and everybody started using this song and it just became a very popular Douyin style song. If you are a user of Douyin you kind of know what type of songs are popular on Douyin but Oppo Reno was a very popular challenge in that.

At the same time, little earlier it was Supreme, I am not sure if it was really intended by Supreme but a Supreme challenge went viral and had billions of views on different types of videos. So, that also became very popular and it was very down to earth china style content. I cannot really explain it, I think you would have to check it out, if you search for Supreme on Douyin you will find it.

I think these are two of the very popular challenges from recent times I would say, hitting hundreds of millions to billions of people.

5. How does censorship apply on Douyin?

In terms of the content which is allowed on Douyin, in terms of what is allowed, not allowed, a lot of the AI machine learning from Douyin is actually picking out content which the AI machine learning thinks that is not allowed and then, manually they are checking “is this content appropriate for our channel or not”. So, there are certain guidelines, I don’t know exactly the guidelines and I don’t want to mix up too much into that, but there are certain guidelines which Douyin is following.

One example is if someone is recording a video in the front of a car, machine learning, the algorithm is basically picking it out because it doesn’t know if you are behind the steering wheel or not. Then someone is manually checking “ok, is this allowed? Is this person behind the steering wheel or not? Ok, it’s not behind the steering wheel then we allow the video”. If this person is recording a video behind the steering wheel, they will block the video. So, that’s kind of how it works, and from all different types of categories, they are kind of reviewing what is allowed and what is not allowed.

6. How does livestreaming work on Douyin? How do people attract followers?

Livestream is not as popular as real lifestreaming apps in China, but because Douyin is trying to be more like a “super app” in that sense that they try to offer all different types of features in their platform, a live streaming is one of them, it’s short video and music like stories. So, live streaming has been used, people in China are using live streaming, people actually can gift certain presents with, let say, money inside so people can earn an additional type of income, they can monetize through live streaming. Usually, the type of live streaming is more lifestyle-related, sometimes F&B so Food & Beverages related, or makeup and beauty related. That are the types of things you actually see the most on Douyin.

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