Douyin DAU tops 150 million, Toutiao’s short-video streaming app reveals user number for the first time

Written by KrASIA Writers Published on 

Tik Tok, the overseas version of Douyin, was the world’s most downloaded non-game app in iOS App Store in Q1 2018.

In Q1 2018, a Chinese app has outperformed Facebook, Instagram and Youtube to become the world’s most downloaded non-game app in iOS App Store. The app is Tik Tok, a short-video streaming app operated by Toutiao.

Tik Tok, locally known as Douyin, revealed yesterday the number of its users for the first time.

In China, Duoyin’s DAU has crossed 150 million while its MAU has topped 300 million. An eye-popping increase came during the Chinese Spring Festival when Douyin’s DAU soared to almost 70 million from less than 40 million.

A change in Douyin’s demographics comes together with the increase in users. Now, over 40% of Douyin users are aged from 24 to 30, while previously the app’s largest user group are aged from 18 to 24.

ZHI Ying, Marketing General Manager of Douyin, thinks there are four reasons for Douyin’s achievement of gaining in popularity: product upgrades to support HD video streaming, background music that makes users feel wonderful, premium filters, and better video shooting experience.

At the same time, technology plays a vital role in Douyin’s success, ZHANG Nan, Tik Tok’s General Manage exclusively told Chinese biztech media and also KrASIA parent company 36Kr in March. According to ZHANG, tailored recommendation, AI technologies, and technological innovation, all helped Douyin win users heart.

During Chinese Spring Festival, Douyin users, which were predominantly residents in first- and second-tier Chinese cities, went back home and introduced the Douyin app to their family members and friends at home, leading to the increase in Douyin users. “According to our market research, over one-quarter of Douyin users learn about our app through a family member or a friend. That is the most important approach for new users to get to know about Douyin,” said ZHI.


While becoming the go-to short video app for many Chinese users, the content on Douyin has diversified.

According to Douyin, over 50% of video clips on the platform before August 2017 were those that feature singing and dancing, or simply about a vlogger doing camera movements. But now, the content on the platform has expanded to cover 19 categories, among which, videos of music, dancing, food, animal, sports, parenting, and travel, each accounts for 5% of all videos on the platform.

Meantime, government affairs, education, traditional culture, technology, photography are also popular subjects. Over 500 government organizations and media, including, CCTV, and SASAC, have set up their accounts on Douyin. Videos regarding government affairs have over 1.6 billion views in total.

Douyin operator Toutiao has drawn fire from the public and China’s cyberspace regulators for its advertisements in search result that were disrespectful to heroes. Previously this year, Toutiao’s flagship news aggregator Jinri Toutiao was removed from local app stores for 3 weeks as part of China’s move to clean up its cyberspace, and its joke app Neihan Duanzi has been permanently closed down for vulgar content.


Outside of China, Douyin is also expanding rapidly.

According to ZHI, Tik Tok, the overseas version of Douyin, and, which is acquired by Douyin’s parent company Toutiao in November 2017, are now available in over 150 countries and regions. Douyin previously claimed to have over 100 million overseas daily active users.

Tik Tok and have ranked at the top of the chart of the most popular short video app in Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, India, and Germany.

According to app analytics service Sensor Tower, Tik Tok has been downloaded 45.8 million times globally in App Store, outperforming Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, to become the world’s most downloaded non-game app in iOS App Store in Q1 2018.

ZHANG Yiming, founder and CEO of Toutiao, said the keyword for the company in 2018 would be globalization in March this year. ZHANG also said earlier this year that he wishes in the next three years, 50% of users of the company’s apps are overseas users.


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