The internet industry in China is one of the most competitive in the world. So, it is no surprise that the video sharing app arena is becoming crowded. The two most popular Vine clones in China are Wanpai and Weishi. Both apps are backed by major internet giants. Wanpai was developed by the creators of YouTube and Weishi was developed by Tencent, which currently dominates the mobile messaging app segment with WeChat.
Wanpai was created by YouTube founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen. According to Tech in Asia, “Vine’s Chinese doppelgänger is called Wanpai, and it brings the video-sharing fun to Chinese social networks Sina Weibo, Tencent Weibo, and Renren.” Wanpai allows for social sharing on some of the most popular social sites in China. This app is virtually a clone of Vine, from the manual controls to the video feed.
According to TechCrunch, “The content stream is also very Vine-like, except for the salmon theme color instead of Vine green. It shows an Instagram-style vertical feed of one clip after the other. Unlike Vine, users must tap each clip to get it to play, but things like comments and likes are all in the same place.” The major twist with Wanpai is it has been designed for Chinese users in mind, so, it provides more features within the app like the ability to add filters, choose to include or mute audio, and decide the direction the video will play in. Many videos seem to enjoy playing with the revise play filter, but few brands seem to have embraced short form video in China.
Weishi was created by Tencent and it is also a Vine-like app. But unlike Wanpai, it has one distinct advantage: WeChat. Weishi allows videos to be shared within the WeChat app, which currently has over 300 million users. According to The Next Web, “Recording a video on Weishi is exactly like how you’d do it on Vine or Instagram. There are additional bells and whistles on Weishi though — other than filters, which Instagram also has, Weishi lets users add background music and watermarks to their videos. They can even choose from six themes that come with preset music and watermarks.”
How popular is Weishi? To understand how popular these video’s are here is an example: This video was uploaded on August 15th and received over 780,000 views in one day. The video is a simple 9 second video of a nurse waking up a patient in a less than acceptable way. Additionally The Next Web said, “The app, Weishi, which is only available in Chinese for now, chalked up 160 million video views in a single day on Valentine’s Day this year, which also coincided with the Chinese Lantern Festival.”
Tencent is a major player in the Chinese internet industry with multiple apps and products that boost user bases of hundreds of millions. So, it is no surprise to see Weishi receiving millions of views per day. But, again like Wanpai, there seems to be few brands actively sharing content, which leaves the door open for multi-nationals to capitalize on this under tapped marketing tool.
Marketing on Weishi and Wanpai
Marketing on Weishi and Wanpai is similar to marketing on Vine or Instagram. Videos, like this one, use product placement to market a product. In the video, a man is using Coca-Cola cups and is standing in front of a Coca-Cola vending machine. The video has received over 50,000 views and over 200 “hearts.” This type of marketing is become more popular in China and is effective in short form videos because it is often hard to voice advertisement within 6-10 seconds and still create compelling content.
Another interesting technique being used is to add video elements on top of the video. In this example, the Wanpai user has created a magazine style template to lay over the video. This is a creative attempt to include lay overs within the video, although amateur, it does give an idea of how creative agencies and marketers can use these apps.
Again, like on Vine and Instagram, humor seems to be the clear winner. When creating short form videos, consider how your product or service can be used to create humorous situations or how your product can be placed within these situations. Overall, getting your content on Weishi and Wanpai will be a step in the right direction and allow you to capitalize on an under utilized marketing resource within China.