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Kuaishou tests new educational short video app with 40-minute daily usage cap

And access to the app is only allowed between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.

Photo: Tuchong

Tencent-backed short-video and live streaming company Kuaishou has been beta-testing a standalone teenager-oriented short-video app featuring educational content since last week, as the entertaining firm seeks to win over Chinese youngsters’ hearts by providing a more engaging study environment.

The app, dubbed “Kuaishou Qingchun Ji,” or “Kuaishou Youth Note” in English, divides its short-videos, many coming from Kuaishou itself, into several channels such as “news,” “common knowledge,” “psychology,” and “sports.” Content showcased includes musical instrument performances, calligraphy learning, school subjects, and historical stories.

According to the app, in a bid to make Qingchun Ji more teenager-friendly, all videos are human-approved, and there’s a singular time limitation of usage: maximum 40 minutes per day and only between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. If a user tries to open the app outside of the mentioned time frames, a pop-up banner on the screen shows up saying “It’s too late now. Please get an early night. Come after 6 a.m. tomorrow.”

If one user watches videos for more than 40 minutes, a pop-up window would show up, saying “You’ve watched long enough. Come back tomorrow after 6 a.m.” Source: Screenshot of Kuaishou Qingchun Ji

Currently, the platform only allows users to follow bloggers and give out “likes” to videos. Viewers can log in via phone number, Kuaishou or WeChat account. The beta version is currently available both in iOS and Android.

According to industry watchers, the new app is part of Kuaishou’s competitive differentiation strategy to gain popularity among teenagers, as its main platform houses videos of many categories which can result in inaccuracies when it comes to AI-recommended distribution to engage users.

Kuaishou’s move to filter education-related content to teenagers echoes the firm’s recent actions in China’s online education market.

As one of the world’s largest short video sharing apps with 200 million daily active users, the company claimed to have nearly 1 million educational content creators and over 200 million relevant videos, attracting more than 100 million users on average every day as of October 2019. Besides, Kuaishou plans to become a hotbed for this kind of content by supporting creators to upload paid courses.

As short-videos are becoming mainstream, Chinese companies are developing these platforms to tap Chinese netizens’ educational needs. A report from China Television Drama Production Industry Association reveals that the average time Chinese spent watching short-videos surpassed that on long-videos for the first time in 2019. The study also indicates that over 821 million users watch short-videos every day in China, as reported by China News.