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How has Douyin and its International Version, Tiktok , Taken Over the World?

The Chinese digital technology company, ByteDance launched Douyin, a short video- sharing mobile app, in September 2016. This app targets millennials and makes it very easy to create short videos. In less than a year, Douyin reached 100 million users. More than 1 billion videos are watched daily.

In 2017, ByteDance wanted to expand the global reach of its app by launching TikTok, Douyin’s version for markets outside China. To help it succeed rapidly, the Chinese entrepreneur decided to buy, an American app founded in 2014 with very similar features, for $1 billion to penetrate the American market quickly. The social network covers 150 countries in 75 languages with this change to the original name. However, Douyin is still the current name of TikTok in China.

The two applications are distinctly separate, and even their official pages are independent. The functions and features of the two applications are almost the same, except for the music, the service available to users, and the e-commerce dimension in China. The e-commerce part allows for selling and buying directly on the application, which is not yet available in the rest of the world.

These differences can be explained by the desire to respect the regulatory requirements, particularly Internet censorship in the People’s Republic of China. Thus, TikTok is not accessible in China, while Douyin is only in Chinese application stores.

The application allows users to create short videos accompanied by music, from 15 seconds to 3 minutes. TikTok was initially intended for young people because of its fun and relaxed content, which includes all kinds of challenges and musical trends. TikTok is now moving away from its initial plan to open up to new themes and new users, older than young teenagers who made it a success in the beginning. Today, TikTok has 1 billion monthly active users. It is estimated that 32.5% are between 10 and 19 years old, but almost half of the users are over 34 years old. Due to its impressive number of users and the amount of time spent on content per day (52 minutes on average), the application has become a new El Dorado for brands that must be present to capture their target. That is why Douyin has created its own e-commerce ecosystem, launched flagship stores for brand accounts, and created platform-owned payment solutions to facilitate its online sales.

The application then became the clip-sharing application that gathers the most significant community. Therefore, not without reason that the competition, starting with Instagram and Snapchat, have started to copy the most popular features of TikTok to try to surf, too, on this new way of consuming online content.

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