In 2016, Momo announced that its net revenue for 2016 reached 531.3 million USD, with an increase of 313% compared to the same period last year. Tantan completed its series C round C of 32 million USD last year, followed by the series D round of 70 million USD in June this year. And among all social products, Wechat has emerged into a landmark social product through the upgraded means of payment and integrated tools.
The success of these apps also enables entrepreneurs to see the prospect of SNS in China. Tsai Di, the founder of Jimu (AIM), said there were more than 200 new social apps appearing on the market at that time. Overseas popular “hookup artifacts” Tinder has also become a model for various social product companies. They use daily advertising exposures to attract potential users. In addition to the traditional social matching features, there are also a variety of other new models, like pretend couples, virtual lovers and. “But the life cycle of these apps is not very long, explosive growth usually leads to the decline in the number of users and the loss of viscosity, which is too messy to manage.” Just as “I Ching” said, “Too much water drowned the miller.”
Moreover, social apps, especially for stranger matching, has been misunderstood by Chinese for a long time and equated with hookup. However, unlike the outside world where people are more open to “hookup culture”, the current demand for social apps and platforms from the youth in China is more in terms of finding new friends. In particular, the work pressure has caused the current youth groups living in first-tier cities lack of personal life. It is why some products are advocating for a healthier lifestyle and a youth culture for these young people.
Many startups have noticed this gap, and Tsai Di is one of them. “I think there is a need for a very clear-cut, youth-oriented social product in China.” At the end of August, when CMBN first met him, he was being visited by some investors for his stranger-targeted social platform “O2O products which was just put on-line in April 2016. It financed and expanded at an amazing speed: the seed round in November the same year, consecutive completion of the Angel round and the Pre A round in May 2017, only a week apart. Among them, the Angel round was led by Ingenuo Angel and followed by Juchengwang, with a total investment of 5.5 million RMB. The investor of Pre-A was Yurong Capital, amounting to several million RMB. The teams also expanded from 4 individuals in Angel to 45 people, with a more specific division of the department. And because the prospects are promising, Tsai Di said there are still investors who want to join, the product is also being updated under capital support, and striving to completely get rid of hookup on its interface design – the product has continually used Tinder’s “sliding and matching” pattern for around a year, which is the reason why many people in the industry will put Jimu and Tinder together for comparison.
However, in mid-October, CMBN interviewed the Team of Jimu again and found that the new version of the product has been greatly altered on the basis of the original, and will optimize and extend Tinder’s discovery mode in early December. The LOGO was also changed from GMU to AIM, further emphasizing the purpose of youth cultural social interaction.
The core of youth culture socialism is: “No matter in what culture, you cannot avoid communicating with others.”
It is usually avoided to talk about sentiments with investors for many entrepreneurs, but in the entertainment industry, sentiments can really be an important driver. Tsai Di, born in 1983, with a professional art design background, was a brand image consultant, and also helped others do a lot of brand design before starting his own business. He said he started Jimu for sentiments which makes him continue to pay attention to the need of youth culture.
“A person’s progress requires phases, and I have a very large cultural demands in every phase. For example, when I was in junior high school, I participated in many recreational activities, like playing the band, learning Taekwondo and Muay Thai, and some competitive sports and even extreme sports. When I did my research in this market, I found that China lacks a highly directional pointed and cultural orientated youth social products. ” Tsai Di thought that many products are based on the content at a starting point, and supported by social interaction functions. Jimu, on the contrary, uses the pre-designed target language to help users meet people of the same cultural appeal online, and then communicate offline through a variety of activities-a complete social services system. “No matter in what culture, you cannot avoid communicating with others. Social is the foundation of any product,” said Tsai Di.
Compared with other social apps, Jimu’s social networking system is very extensive and the user quality is relatively higher. Users will first be divided into different circles according to different types of interests, such as music, extreme sports, modified cars, SM subcultures, etc. The early seed users in each circle are selected by the project team at various activity sites from KOL and targeted users. On the one hand, KOL users can continue to attract new users to join. Young people’s imitate ability and learning ability is very strong, they came in with it when KOL propagandas. So Jimu’s user quality will be better than other platforms, and this also circumvents the explosive user growth caused by a large amount of advertising investment and the consequence of declining number and viscosity of users in the end as mentioned above. On the other hand, users developed from the scene are more willing to go back to the scene, so that the project is more likely to start all kinds of cooperation and promotion of cultural activities, and accumulate new users at the scene, forming a virtuous circle online and offline.
According to the data provided by Jimu’s technology department, in the case of the IOS platform alone, user number reached 90,000 in April 2016, and increased to 600,000 in June this year, it reached 1.8 million by the time of dispatch. The Android Version also opened last month, the director of marketing Wang Qi-jun said the core task t is to further build up the number of users and open a larger market.
There are mainly two means to accumulate users. The first one is publishing activity information through cooperation with INXX, Armani or ofo and other platforms whose users have the product interest or target group is young people. The other is, for example, at the end of this month, Jimu will soon hold the first “Lots of Youth Cultural Activities” at Candy Live. The little tiger, the spirit of God, and other Hip-hop musicians with culture and geography, different from the business players, are invited to it. “do not make money, but performance is only about 1% of our business. We want to make the performance a little purer. Please come to some interesting people, To reduce everyone’s prejudice on socialism, of course, this is also to establish everyone’s awareness of the plot to do young cultural brand. “Wang Qi-jun said.
The “Chinese-style” social status quo: some people will take the initiative; it is also crucial to rescue the “vent” youth group.
At this moment, there are six interest options: life, sport, art, entertainment, alternative and not sure. Each option has purpose logos of different subdivisions. Tsai Di said that Livehouse, tattoos, extreme sports, Release, modified car, MAG (Manga, Anime and Games) are now the most popular ones on the platform.
In addition, CMBN also found a very interesting phenomenon: some of the platform users to choose “vent” as their own tag rather than other hobbies.
This is very much in line with the current state of social anxiety among young people, especially in first- and second-tier cities: passive and contradictory. On the one hand, they want to be matched to new friends that they like, but on the other hand, there are only a few people who are able and willing to take the initiative to socialize, and we are all frantically labeling ourselves and looking forward to showing ourselves better, and waiting for others to take the initiative. This is why although many new social activities such as “boring conventions” are very popular among young people, many media are concerned about the “increasing loneliness” of many young people under the cultural social upsurge.
“Some users do not know how to chat with others, they do not talk even after paired on the platform. When going offline activities, they also stay alone, so we try our best to find ways to help them.” Wang Qi-jun said that according to some users’ feedback of that “matching People do not speak”. This will cause meaningless social phenomenon, so the new version of the product adds a vomit function which has embedded in advance some interesting words. By pressing the vomit button, users will randomly send them to each other. “It appears to be an art for the Chinese that how to say the first sentence, this function is to help you make more friends, and others know that you are using vomit because you are trying to say hi but do not know how to talk. “
In addition, you can find out which users will go in the “Find Activities” page and the interactive chat function in the active interface allows users to communicate through the activities. “We can still find friends with same interests through the activities.” “Wang Qi-jun said.
Besides pushing users in terms of functionality, CMBN also discussed deeper social status issues with Jimu users and some of our social apps’ users. One interviewer, for example, said frankly “Everyone wants to be matched with good-looking and funny people. But based on the current matchmaking model, many people simply do not have the access to those people whom everyone want to socialize with- after all, they are not in the same match pool at all. “
“Everybody wants a lot of people to like themselves, getting more “likes” and comments on their Weibo posts, and to get more attention.”
To be sure, social app is just a tool, same as other lifestyle content products, it cannot get a person into a higher-level circle right now, but the good part is that it helps users understand what they want and then moving toward what they want. On the bright side, the social anxiety shown by the Chinese youth nowadays is an attempt to enrich their own higher-level pursuits and desires. At the same time, it is also the reason why there is a hot market for adult education and training in such fields as knowledge-paying, sports and music. Entertainment is defined as more added value, than pure pastime.
What Jimu can do is to strengthen their own cultural trend, and help users better to break the “Chinese-style” social circle with a cultural approach at the same time.
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