China’s Generation Z is hooked on these short video apps

March 29, 2018
Industry News
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Meng Jing
meng.jing@scmp.com

Short-form video apps have been around since early this decade in China, but their popularity has exploded the past three years on the back of a growing new segment of consumers known as Generation Z.

This post-millennial demographic group, which researchers have defined as people born from the mid-1990s to the early 2000s, have grown up using the internet from a young age and become savvy with streaming video on their smartphones.

“The rise of the short form video is in line with the content consumption behaviour of China’s mobile-driven internet users. As their time has become more fragmented, they long for something short, but contain enough entertaining information,” said consulting firm iiMedia Research in a recent report.

It estimated viewers of short-form videos, which are clips less than 20 minutes in length, reached 242 million in China last year. That number was forecast to hit 353 million – more than the size of the US population – by the end of this year.

China’s three largest internet companies – Baidu, Tencent Holdings and Alibaba Group Holding, which owns the South China Morning Post – are all competing in the short video market against smaller, but fast-growing players like Beijing ByteDance Technology.

Celebrities on the mainland use short videos to engage with their fans, while many Gen Z consumers had adopted the format as a way to express themselves.

Their enthusiasm is even shared by retirees and people in China’s rural areas, who find short videos a pleasant pastime. Developers of these apps have made it easy for anyone to use the filters and editing tools for posting video clips online.

Here are the top five short video apps by monthly active users in China as of February this year, according to analytics company App Annie. Continue Reading 

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