Chinese lifestyle-sharing app Xiaohongshu has recently undergone an update, replacing the shopping section in the second column of the homepage with a new videos section, indicating the increasing importance of the medium. After clicking into this section, the page automatically plays short videos.
Content platforms turning focus on short video formats has emerged as a clear trend. In 2021, Bilibili launched story-mode videos, and in the first quarter of 2022, their broadcast volume accounted for more than 20% overall. WeChat’s video channel is gradually improving and becoming a key business for Tencent in the future.
Compared with other platforms, Xiaohongshu, which started with picture-based content, has been cautious. According to official data, from 2019 to 2020, 97% of creators on Xiaohongshu have released notes in the form of videos.
In the second half of 2020, Xiaohongshu finally launched a video channel. At that time, Miranda Qu, the founder of Xiaohongshu, announced that the company would develop a community 2.0 with more diversified video content. The homogenization of graphic content in Xiaohongshu is serious, while videos can bring fresher and more diversified content to the platform.
At the time of its launch, Xiaohongshu’s video channel set different thresholds for content creators. Individual bloggers on Xiaohongshu can apply for registration as long as they have more than 500 fans and have posted more than one video. Content creators from Bilibili, Xigua Video. YouTube, Douyin, Kuaishou and Weibo need many more followers.
Xiaohongshu, with monthly active users of 200 million, is bound to compete with Douyin and Bilibili, who have 700 million and 330 million MAUs respectively.
Weibo, Bilibili and Zhihu, which focus on creating an online community like Xiaohongshu, were publicly listed in the United States in April 2014, March 2018 and March 2021 respectively, and have completed second listings in Hong Kong. But so far, Xiaohongshu hasn’t submitted any listing applications.
Xiaohongshu’s slogan has transitioned from “Finding Good Stuff Overseas” in 2014 to “Recording My Lifestyle” in 2021, which also marks a significant change in its brand positioning and monetization strategy. It has been described as “China’s answer to Instagram,” but its size and commercialization are very different.