Placing an order for a ride within ByteDance’s short video app Douyin has become a reality. Tech Planet reported on December 26 that the platform has allowed online ride-hailing service providers’ mini-programs to settle in the app. T3 Go, a leading player in the field, launched a mini-program on Douyin this month, but users now can only exchange or purchase coupons. A number of small ride-hailing platforms have also arrived.
Douyin’s exploration of transportation services began in the first half of this year, but only some small service providers took the lead in creating small programs in Douyin to promote their business through short videos.
At that time, leading platforms like Didi and T3 Go still mainly sold coupons in Douyin. An insider told Tech Planet that they are ready to launch travel services in Douyin due to its huge user group, but at that time they were still waiting to see relevant regulations and user needs.
The latest move means that Douyin has begun to be valued by leading players in the field and may become a third-party ride-hailing service aggregation platform similar to AutoNavi and WeChat.
At present, the ride-hailing functions in Douyin are all presented in the form of mini-programs, which are hard for users to discover. According to industry analysts, this may be due to the fact that there are not many travel service providers in Douyin. With the expansion of scale, Douyin may aim to create a conspicuous entrance for these service providers, like its group buying and food delivery business.
The development and growth of any business cannot be separated from user traffic. Douyin, with 600 million monthly active users, has expanded its business to many fields. Users of the app pay great attention to travel, for example. Tech Planet found that in Douyin, videos related to “transportation,” “travel,” and “Didi driver” have been played over 100 million times in the last 30 days.
Since Didi’s app was removed from online shelves last year, the online ride-hailing market has entered a new round of competition. After being removed from the shelves in May 2019, the new version of “Meituan Taxi” was re-launched in APP stores on July 9 last year. Subsequently, AutoNavi launched the “Rocket Travel” app in December last year.
This year, two of China’s top tech firms joined the field. Huawei launched “Petal Travel” to serve Beijing, Shenzhen and Nanjing, while Tencent cooperated with ONTIME in some areas of Guangdong, and accessed more taxi service providers in WeChat.