Today I downloaded the Chinese version of TikTok out of curiosity. User experience has alway been a passion of mine, so I wanted to compare how similar or different they are - and whether there’s something Byte can learn from both these apps.
This may come off as irrelevant, especially in a forum about Byte, but if you’re interested in UX like I am, here’s what I discovered on Chinese TikTok, Douyin.
Fundamentally they’re extremely similar. The core user experience is the same, and if you know how to use one, the other will feel familiar.
But what blew me away was how much more powerful and feature rich Douyin is compared to Tiktok. It’s a super app.
Here are some of the wonderful features I discovered there:
1. Even longer videos
On Douyin, you can post videos that are longer than one minute. I’m not sure what the limit is, but I saw a video that was around 2 minutes long. I know heads will roll in this forum even hearing that, but I didn’t mind it tbh.
2. Video scrubber
When you pause a long video, a scrubber appears in the bottom. You can go back and forth on a video and scrub to pause at a certain time. THIS IS GREAT. There’s been so many times where I missed a part in a tiktok and I had to wait for the whole video to play again which is annoying. If byte adds longer video time, this feature alone will make it better than present day TikTok.
- Location Tags
You can tag locations, and they show up above your username (similar to how filters used show up) On the second loop of the video, the tag expands a bit to show how many views that location has. That was a nice touch. Tapping the tag takes you to a specific page about that location (similar to location tags on IG) You can watch other tiktok’s filmed at that location which I found cool and useful. I can picture people watching a bunch of tiktok’s in these locations, and then getting inspired to plan a trip there.
A whole section dedicated to finding livestreams -
You can also search for specific livestreams. I stumbled across a livestream teaching English, which was cute. If Byte wants to embrace ‘video communities,’ live-streaming is the most personal and connected someone can get with their favorite content creators.
This was a feature that I remember seeing a request on the forums a couple weeks back. Douyin’s solution to this is great. If a video is part of a playlist, or what they call ‘collection’ there’s an indicator at the bottom of the video which pops up a list of other videos in that collection. Tapping on one video in the collection allows you to swipe down to go to the next video. Swiping right takes you back to the for you page (the initial video in the collection.) Collections also show up as ‘chips’ or tabs in the user’s profile.
- Pinned Videos
Users can pin up to three tiktoks at the top of their profile. Some may find this really useful.
I was surprised to see rebytes on there lol. TiKToK sHoULd sTop BeCoMiNg bYtE aNd bE oRiGiNaL
Merch & Shops
This literally blew my mind. Creators/brands can have shops/merch stores on Douyin where they can sell whatever to their followers. This gives creators a way to monetize and for followers to show support.
- Comment Pictures and GIFs
A nice touch~
- Third party integrations - YOU CAN LITERALLY BOOK A HOTEL ON DOUYIN
I’m sure I missed a lot of other features, but these are the ones that stood out the most to me. Thanks for reading this really long dive into Douyin’s features. Let me know if you have any questions about it.