Bytedance Plans to Relaunch Social App Feiliao

According to recent reports, Bytedance is gearing up to restart its social app Feiliao (or Flipchat in English), an instant audio messaging platform, which was previously removed from app stores.

Feiliao is a social product launched by ByteDance in May 2019. Initially, the app builds a model in which users create different topic groups to appeal to other users with common hobbies and interests, joining and interacting within the groups. In order to lower the social interaction threshold, users who are strangers to each other on the platform can send messages directly without friending each other beforehand.

In the increasingly maturing social media sector, Feiliao has failed to woo new users, causing a somewhat lackluster performance. The platform appeared in the Apple Store’s top five social apps tally in the first month after launching, but its ranking continued to decline thereafter.

Feiliao is not the first social product launched by Bytedance. In January 2019, Bytedance launched two social products – “Xintu”, focused on photo-sharing, and “Duoshan”, featuring short videos. The former has been removed from the app store, while the latter has been absorbed as an accessory within the firm’s now globally popular platform, TikTok.

In addition to launching the independent social app, Bytedance is still building new social functions around TikTok. On July 5th, a function known as the “same city circle” was tested on TikTok. This feature enables users to participate in content creation and sharing within their geographic vicinity, while the most well-received content can be labelled as top posts by the circle owner.

According to reported statistics, since 2019, businesses like Bytedance, Alibaba, Baidu, Netease and Xiaomi have launched more than 30 social apps, covering a range of fields including video, audio, workplace services, anonymity, blind dating and more. However, few of them have continued their operations, with most having been taken down or suspended.

With the development of the mobile Internet sector, social models are more diversified, giving birth to more and more battlegrounds. Among these include, Soul, an app focused on strangers’ social interaction, and Momo, known for its audio social interaction. These sub-tracks have inevitably become new areas of competition for major players in the industry.

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