ByteDance’s Douyin to unveil a Karaoke mini app

Mini programs are the current competitive arena for China’s tech giants.

credit: DFIC

ByteDance’s short video platform Douyin is set to launch a video-syncing Karaoke mini program, as the company wants to catch up with WeChat and Alipay in the battleground of mini apps, 36Kr reported.

Dubbed “Douchang,” or “shake and sing” in Chinese, the upcoming mini app will allow users to sing together with music influencers on the platform through pre-recorded music videos. Users can also record, edit and post the newly-synced videos. It’s unclear yet when Douchang will be released officially.

Mini programs, a concept introduced by WeChat in 2016, are lite apps – usually smaller than 10MB – that run inside an all-in-one platform, or “super app”, like WeChat and Alipay.

For users, mini-programs take less space and load more smoothly, while for apps developers, they lure users to spend more time on the platforms. Currently, mini programs are the prevailing competitive arena for China’s tech giants at a time when the growth speed of user acquisition for platforms has hit the bottleneck in recent years, industry watchers say.

Previously, ByteDance launched a ticket booking function and several gaming mini programs in its news aggregator Jinri Toutiao and a short-video sharing app Huoshan Video, but users appear to be lukewarm about these features, according to the 36kr report.

As a relative newcomer in the field, ByteDance, already a social promotor of hundreds of hit songs in China through its viral short-video apps, now expects music to be again the breakthrough.

WeChat, as the pioneer of mini program, still leads the scene, with 620 million monthly active users (MAUs) and 250 million daily active users (DAUs) in June. Meanwhile, Alipay has been speeding up to build its mini program ecosystem, which now has 700 million cumulative users and 230 million DAUs as of June, according to Chinese Internet data provider Alading.