Chinese short video apps want to make us shop
Kuaishou became famous for users that eat lightbulbs; now it wants to help those users sell stuff too
China loves short videos -- its most popular platform, Douyin has 500 million users. China also loves online shopping, so maybe it’s not surprising that the country’s short video platforms are moving into ecommerce.
What is surprising is that Kuaishou (or Kwai) -- the bad boy of China’s short video apps -- is joining the game.
Kuaishou’s reputation comes from the videos it hosts. If you remember the old MTV show Jackass, well, those sorts of antics are popular: there’s the woman eating lightbulbs, the guy that puts firecrackers in his underwear, and the teenage moms. It gives voice to a part of the population normally ignored by other media.
Now, Kuaishou’s CEO Su Hua is determined to cash in on its unique product.
So how will it work? Take this video as an example. It looks like a normal wacky dog video, but it can also lead you directly to the user’s online store, which sells pet supplies.
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But making money through shopping might not be the only reason why Kuaishou is so eager to get into ecommerce.
Both Kuaishou and Douyin take their inspiration from live streaming apps, which have successfully been using video to draw users into the clutches of consumerism for years. In fact, one of the most successful platforms in commercializing video has been the king of online shopping, Taobao. The app is full of users showcasing everything from fashion to gadgets to vegetables.
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