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Douyin, TikTok’s Chinese twin, has 550 million search users and takes on Baidu – TechCrunch

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The advancement of short videos is redefining the way information is created, delivered and consumed online. Eye-catching 15-second videos aren’t just for entertainment. On the Chinese Douyin and Kuaishou short video apps, people can get their daily dose of information, learn to cook, practice English, search for a job, and search virtually any kind of information in the rapidly expanding content library. platforms.

As more and more people are used to being fed machine-recommended videos, many users still have the urge and need for active search. Douyin understood this and integrated a search function in mid-2018. More than two years later, the feature has reached 550 million monthly active users. There is still room for Douyin’s search functionality to grow, as the app last brought in 600 million Daily users in September, so its monthly user base should be higher than that.

Kelly Zhang, the young product manager recognized for the rise of Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, disclosed Research user Douyin is first featured this week on his microblogging account. Research is a territory long dominated by Baidu in China. As of December, Baidu’s flagship app had 544 million monthly active users, so it’s safe to say as many people are searching on Douyin as they are on Baidu.

Zhang’s remark is indicative of Douyin’s ambition to conquer the online video industry, and ultimately of the way people receive information: “I’ve said this before: I hope Douyin could become one. video encyclopedia of human civilization. Video research is therefore the index of the book, the gateway to finding answers and gathering new knowledge. “

She further added that Douyin’s search engine is recruiting for research and development, product and operational roles in the coming year (China just observed the Lunar New Year) as the video application continues to increase its investment in search capabilities.

Short video platforms are already the second most popular method for Chinese online search users, after general search engines like Baidu and ahead of social media and e-commerce, data analytics company Jiguang. mentionned in a report last December. Baidu’s mastery of research is increasingly limited by the walled gardens built by Chinese tech titans who deny themselves free access to its sites and data. The status quo is detrimental to user experience, but bodes well for vertical search engines on applications such as Douyin and Alibaba’s Taobao marketplace, and hence revenue from advertising sponsorships.

ByteDance has cut its teeth using machine learning algorithms to recommend content through services such as Douyin, TikTok, and the Toutiao news aggregator. The model proved to be very efficient and lucrative, prompting its predecessors from Baidu to Tencent to introduce content feeds based on similar algorithms. The move from ByteDance to Seeking, a Kingdom with a longer history, is an intriguing but natural step. The company is in the process of completing the puzzle of its digital media empire, giving people another option for finding information. Users can receive machine recommendations and subscribe to content creators if they choose. They can also add a search keyword if they have one in mind, the old fashioned way.

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