ByteDance launches Douyin Chat as the company’s social media exploration continues

ByteDance’s Douyin, a short video app that is the mainland China counterpart of TikTok, recently launched a desktop software on its official website called “Douyin Chat” that provides services for Windows and Mac clients. The website shows the software was updated on December 30, 2022 and the latest version is 1.0.0.

To start, users need to use the Douyin app to scan a code and log in. After completing this step, they can chat with their Douyin friends. The software interface is relatively simple and the overall layout is similar to the desktop version of WeChat. The functions are also relatively basic and only offer a chat function.

In fact, ByteDance has been hitting social media for almost four years, and its ambitions have been fully revealed with the launch of Duoshan.

In early 2019, Duoshan, which focused on short videos and social interaction, was officially launched, indicating that ByteDance has officially entered the social media space.

In May 2019, another social app called Feiliao was officially launched.

In March 2020, Douyin launched a voice-based live broadcast function. After web hosts started broadcasting, users could request a connection. If too many users have applied, the host could also create a chat room. Shortly thereafter, Douyin tested two new features – Connection and Acquaintance – aimed at social interaction between strangers and acquaintances, respectively.

In May, Douyin launched a video call feature that allowed users to make video calls as long as they followed each other to become friends.

In September 2020, Douyin introduced functions such as “same city”, “friends” and “daily”, further improving the social chain of users of the platform.

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In April 2021, Douyin successively introduced the “shake” and “personal business card” functions, with an emphasis on socializing among strangers. That same month, Douyin tested the “Friends Chat Room,” which focused on video chatting with multiple people.

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So far, Douyin has tried almost every social media feature, but they never made a splash. Two social apps in particular, Duoshan and Feiliao, have failed despite the high hopes placed on them. ByteDance now needs to turn around and look for new ways to explore the social media space.

ByteDance’s social media strategy has clearly changed from launching independent social apps to creating a Metaverse-based social ecosystem within the Douyin app. In August last year, the platform launched a “Zaizi” feature that allows users to create their own unique digital image and virtual avatar. Shortly thereafter, the virtual space “Douyin Nest” was launched.

Obviously, ByteDance hasn’t given up on social media. Now the Metaverse has become the new key concept for ByteDance to explore social functions.