Snapchat vs. TikTok
Teens’ attention can be fickle, as Snapchat recently learned all too well. As if the beleaguered social app didn’t have already got enough woes, it’s currently facing a significant challenger from China.
Owned by Beijing-based Tech Company and world’s most valuable startup ByteDance, short video app TikTok recently surpassed Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube in total downloads within the iOS App Store. It’s presently ranking ahead of all of them, coming in third overall behind 2 game apps.
TikTok shot up in popularity globally once it absorbed lip-syncing app Musical.ly, which was popular with teens and purchased by ByteDance in November 2017. The app has teens and tweens addicted through its combination of music, Snapchat-esque filters, and a format that gives easy access to “challenges” that follow along the lines of Instagram and YouTube’s viral dance crazes like the Kiki Challenge.
The app is a clone of its wildly successful China version, known as Douyin, which has already found ways to monetize in its home market that were featured in Gartner L2’s Digital iq Index: Luxury China. Fashion and beauty brands including Chanel, Dior, Tommy Hilfiger, Michael Kors, Estée Lauder, and NARS have promoted themselves on Douyin through official accounts, sponsored challenges, branded filters, or influencer promotions. Douyin videos can also link directly to e-commerce on Taobao or Tmall, permitting brands to turn engagement into purchases.
While ByteDance may be posing a challenge to Snapchat, Chinese tech giant Tencent is taking a page from the Snap playbook to go after ByteDance within the China market. Once buying a stake in Snap Inc. last year, Tencent recently launched its own version of smart glasses just like Snapchat Spectacles. Designed to accompany Tencent’s own short video platform Weishi, the corporate is hoping the glasses will help challenge Douyin’s lead on Chinese app stores.