Thanks to high mobile penetration, the Chinese social media landscape constantly evolves with the emergence of new roles to keep up with the growing demand. Many websites and mobile apps are integrated with social networking features, such as e-commerce platforms Taobao (Alibaba) and Pinduoduo, and news app Toutiao (ByteDance), with an ambition to convert viewership and internet traffic to revenue. For global companies that wish to tap the Chinese market, it’s never late to keep a close eye on such platforms and innovations.
Keep reading to find out what are the top apps and how they redefine social media.
the most successful platforms
WeChat, known as the super social media platform in China, is an all-in-one messaging, social networking, and mobile payment app developed by Tencent. Each day almost 1.1 billion users communicate and explore fresh content via WeChat. Its key features, including Moments (friend networking feed), company account (content push feed), and mini-programs (mini-apps developed within WeChat’s framework) have created an ecosystem that allows businesses from around the world to engage with users and grow digitally without draining the budget.
Weibo started as a microblogging site and now it has more features and services. Though shadowed by other emerging platforms in recent years, it remains a top social media platform in China. This is where breaking news and trending topics often surface. More international brands are leveraging Weibo to build brand awareness in China while gathering user data and knowledge on the needs and behavior patterns of Chinese consumers.
Launched in 2016, Douyin and its international version TikTok have expanded massively in just a few years. Powered by machine learning, this short video, and live streaming platform has evolved into an emerging e-commerce player to compete with leading marketplaces like Taobao. Its live streaming shopping strategy enables sellers to engage with customers and offer exclusive deals in real-time. With explosive sales growth, this form of social commerce is proven to be pandemic-proof and even pandemic-driven.
Other platforms to hop on
Zhihu is a Q&A and knowledge-sharing website. Over the years, it has introduced columns, premium content, live video, and online education, among other features that it believes, are essential for sharing information. Because Zhihu has a high domain authority on Baidu and other large search engines in China, meaning when a keyword is searched, a Zhihu Q&A is most likely to appear on the first SERP, it is viewed by marketers as an effective instrument for improving SEO and relevance.
XIAOHONGSHU (RED BOOK)
Founded in 2013, this fast-growing lifestyle sharing and e-commerce platform have more than 300 million users (female users over 80%). The app allows users to post fashion, beauty, food, travel, and other lifestyle content in the form of photos and short videos. With users looking for reviews of the latest products, tips, and recommendations, influencers play a huge role when it comes to digital campaigns. Xiaohongshu’s in-app store supports cross-border payment and shipping, where users can buy items from overseas directly.
Douban is a social networking service initially launched as a review-sharing platform for books, movies, TV shows, and music, aiming to develop high-quality communities where users share lifestyle and cultural experiences. Once a niche app popular among white-collar workers and university students is increasing visibility. One of its popular communities, Xiachufang, has derived a successful cooking app that combines recipe sharing and e-commerce.
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