QQ, a 23-year-old social networking platform operated by Tencent, has been constantly transforming to fit shifting tech trends, and its content and social functions are getting closer to the preferences of young people. Tech Planet reported on December 7 that QQ is now trying out a new social function among close friends, allowing users to adopt virtual products and make them grow through chatting.
This function has been tested and promoted within QQ, which has already launched a video product called “Small World” focusing on short videos and livestreaming – equivalent to creating a Douyin within QQ. 70% of its users are young people.
Since 2014, Tencent has sought to make QQ more attractive to younger users, and it previously experienced a period of high growth. In 2016, QQ had 877 million monthly users, but then it started a downward trend that lasted for six years. Since 2016, there have been many products and functions shut down by the platform, covering e-commerce, interest sharing, and short video socializing.
One former QQ product manager revealed to Tech Planet that in order to attract more young users, users of other ages will be at a loss in terms of functions and operations, and the loss of users is inevitable.
From the beginning of the year until now, there were more than 10 products and functions shut down. A former senior QQ operator said that most of these products emerged in the PC era and the early days of mobile internet, and that they failed to adapt to the current environment.
Just last month, Tencent announced its Q3 financial report for 2022. In the social sector, the monthly active users of QQ in the third quarter was 574 million, up 0.1% year-on-year and 1% month-on-month. Although this number is less than half of the 1.309 billion WeChat users, it hasn’t been as easy for QQ, which means that it is finding a more suitable development direction through optimization of functions and operations.
The number of QQ’s monthly active users stopped falling, thanks to an approach referred to as “content + new social play + communication between home and school.” QQ played an important role in online tutoring during the pandemic. Teachers can use mini programs to personalize the QQ group toolbar. For example, adding online quizzes and homework collection tools can allow them to manage online classes more efficiently.
However, QQ still has to face some problems. According to the financial report for the third quarter, Tencent‘s registered account of paid value-added services declined by 2.8%. QQ has always been a big part of Tencent‘s value-added services. Many QQ paying users said that since the beginning of this year, the platform’s paid membership promotions have never stopped, which reflects the strength of QQ in boosting revenue.