Chinese TikTok: TikTok on crack

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.

  1. 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.


  1. 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.

  2. Collections
    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.

  1. Pinned Videos
    Users can pin up to three tiktoks at the top of their profile. Some may find this really useful.

  1. Reposts (Rebytes)
    I was surprised to see rebytes on there lol. TiKToK sHoULd sTop BeCoMiNg bYtE aNd bE oRiGiNaL

  2. 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.

  1. Comment Pictures and GIFs
    A nice touch~

  1. Third party integrations - YOU CAN LITERALLY BOOK A HOTEL ON DOUYIN
    :exploding_head:

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.

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This is really interesting. Lol they have rebytes.

Pinned bytes is something I would absolutely love to have.

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I remember somebody on Byte saying they were experimenting with longer video duration. If they implemented that with a scrubber, Byte would easily become easier to use than TikTok.

Also, collections, livestreams, and location tags would be huge on Byte, all of them being extremely useful for a community.

I’d love to see all of these thing implemented some day…

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Fingers crossed :crossed_fingers:

I tested some other Chinese apps too and I noticed a general trend between US and Chinese apps. US apps seem to focus more on simplicity, where as Chinese apps are all trying to become super apps that can do everything.

In my opinion, TikTok has been so successful because they were able to figure out how to make a complicated app look and feel simple and logical. From the moment you install it, it just works. You don’t even need to log in for it to work. Too many apps that we’re used to (Byte included) hide everything behind a sign up wall. This is terrible because you want to give the user value right away. I don’t want to sign up for things before I know if it’s for me… These ux decisions are so short-sighted.

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in theory that is the culture formed in china is the belief everything can be done with one thing to increase efficiency. This mostly has to do with how big their population is and a lot of things are crammed together so you kind of have to make more crammed in things. But it is also just a cultural thing that has developed their to for greater efficiency. Like think about it how you have bidets, Chinese hotel capsules, many Nintendo ideals like miiverse and flip note studio etc and consoles having an “everything in one” mentality. It is just really a cultural thing there for more efficiency.

Thats awesome.

FYI. They hate it when we call it Chinese tiktok lol I was told very rudely so just fair warning before u DL the app and say Chinese tiktok lol

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That’s fair. I just used it on the title because most people might not know it’s called Douyin. The rest of the post refers to it as Douyin after making that connection.

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Very interesting! Thanks for writing that feature review, the Chinese version of TikTok has quite a few very cool features.

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Of course! It was just a PSA and ur right no one would know unless they had the app or heard about it xx :dizzy::two_hearts::butterfly:

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I’ve posted a couple of bytes I edited on the app. Honestly I agree w you! Xx sorry for not saying that before!

Okay so round two of features from Douyin (TikTok used in China)

11. Just Watched
This is so smart. When you watch a video from someone, and then go to their profile page to see more videos, the video you just watched has an indicator. On tiktok I have accidentally clicked on the same video before, like more than once. This feature also gives you an idea of how recent the video you just watched is. If there’s a follow up to the video you watched, you’ll know where to look for it.

12. Age, gender, and location in profiles
This feature was optional, but a lot of people seem to use it on their profiles.

13. Browsing videos with the same sound
This is a small but nice touch. When swiping through videos using the same sound, there’s a button in the bottom to record with that sound.

14. Links in comments
The creator can share a link in the comments. Use case: say they are talking about a charity, they can link it in the comments for people to check it out. Useful, but needs to have safeguards to prevent abuse of that feature. I’m sure they do.

15. Rankings
I noticed that Douyin has different rankings for celebrities, popular brands, and locations. They are updated weekly. For brands, they are split by brand categories: Food, Cars, Fashion, Makeup/Beauty, etc…

16. Related Trends
On some videos, there’s a call to action to see related trends. Watching the related trends page you can swipe to the left to see a list of trends to toggle between.

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Last update~

17. Nearby
Instead of a trending page, Douyin has a ‘nearby’ page which shows you local content. You can switch to different cities and areas too.

18. More advanced search
When tapping the search icon , you automatically get recommendations and trends you can search for. You can filter search by: general (all), videos, users, sounds, hashtags, live, locations, or shopping/products.

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so what im hearing is

u wanna be able to book hotels in byte

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book hotels for bytecon in byte :eye::lips::eye:

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seriously though some of these features are pretty cool and similar to stuff we’ve talked about. it’s pretty neat and encouraging to see them in screenshots

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if you can add food delivery and a way to manage my banking information, that would be greatly appreciated.

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I’d like a way to get 15% or more on car insurance through byte please

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My most recent post uses the editing ft from douyin. Honestly I love using that app for fun editing for filler posts

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I wanted to test out the recording features too, but I was too scared to create an account on Chinese social media lol

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