Kuaishou快手. This name might not ring a bell for you but in fact it’s the rival app of the popular Douyin 抖音 . Short videos and live-stream are the new trends in social media for Chinese Millennials. Live-streaming is popular among young Chinese who see it as an easy way to make money and become famous.
Kuaishou is now the fourth largest social media platform in the country, after WeChat, QQ and Sina Weibo.
What is Kuaishou 快手 ?
Kuaishou 快手, or “fast hand” in Chinese was founded in 2011. It began its life as a destination for photo sharing on mobile. At the beginning Kuaishou was similar to our Instagram with + 400 million users. Nevertheless, it quickly started to launch its own video-sharing platform, letting its user doing live-stream or upload pre-recorded short clips.
Today, Kuaishou 快手 claims to have reached 120 million daily users, with five million videos uploaded to its service each day. Backed by Tencent, Kuaishou 快手 is expected to go public in Hong Kong this year. Indeed, the company’s recent value has risen to $18 billion. (according to Jiemian).
Who are the users ?
The main users of China’s short video apps are young. Most of them belong to the post-90s generation. Users of Kuaishou 快手 are majority from China rural areas, from smaller third-tier cities.
The app itself make it to the top by a relatively low use of marketing. Before 2016, the app didn’t have a marketing department and there was no celebrity endorsement, no KOL promotions and no monetization. The mission of the app is to record real lives, of real people, as stated by the founder Sua Hua:
“Celebrities and internet KOLs have taken up too much attention online, whereas ordinary people, especially those living in rural areas or less-developed cities, do not have a space to share their lives.”
What are they sharing ?
The types of videos shared on Kuaishou are varied and diverse. Firstly, the social media was supporting creative self-expression of country side people.
(Photos: Elephant Room)
However, a huge part of the content of Kuaishou is made up of comic videos. Besides, the most viral are the one at the “US Jackass” style, like people swallowing lightbulbs, stuffing firecrackers down their pants or performing magic tricks. Check “Gourmet Sister Feng” account. Like most video and live-streaming services, virtual gifts are a major revenue source for Kuaishou.
Moreover, Kuaishou 快手has been a channel, and probably the only one, for recording social injustice in the Chinese society. Look at the example in 2017 of Chinese Migrants.
Bad buzz & Government Attention
China Central Television (CCTV), critiqued the platform for providing to teenage girls the ability to show off their adolescent pregnancies and compete with one another to be crowned as the youngest mother on the internet. (SupChina)
China’s regulator for the media and entertainment sector, SAPPRFT has just released a public statement (in Chinese) on their official WeChat account asking Kuaishou to start cleaning up their sites of “inappropriate content”.
Kuaishou 快手 plans to set up a research institute with Tsinghua University to restore its reputation after the scandal about publishing vulgar content. The objective is to improve Kuaishou’s algorithm to automatically recognize emotions and the meaning of videos in future, to avoid offensive or violent content.
Key Take Away
- 120 million daily users mostly from rural areas.
- Controversial contents.
- Videos with the most followers : people eating food, shopping, tutorials and funny or bizarre performances.
- GIFS and short video are really popular.
- Others apps to follow Douyin, HuoShan & XiGua.