Inside TikTok: Zhang Yiming’s Journey


In order to clarify the trajectory of TikTok’s rise in various countries, it is necessary to introduce a little business knowledge.

Generally speaking, TikTok has to cross four stages, and the “inflection point” is the most wonderful moment.

The first stage is to smash resources without thinking. Douyin has verified the extraordinaryness of this business story. It is just a copy in the world. The so-called “simple belief, silly persistence”.

The second stage is the construction of content ecology. The operation staff dug up all the Internet celebrities such as YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest. If a competitor spends 10,000, TikTok will spend 20,000. At the two ends of the machine are users and content. The user growth terminal continuously delivers users, and the content terminal continuously delivers talents, chemical reactions occur on both sides, and the user experience spirals upward.

The third stage is the milestone moment – the inflection point has come. Byte has an “inflection point theory” that will pay extra attention to “DAU penetration rate” (daily active penetration rate). The higher the daily active penetration, the higher the user stickiness. The retention rate that previously plagued TikTok and also misjudged Facebook will naturally increase. According to experience, the penetration rate of various countries has reached 20%-30%, which can meet the inflection point.

Inflection points are magical moments. Once it arrives, the popularity of apps mainly depends on human-to-human communication and natural growth. “Buy volume: Natural volume” transitioned from buying volume accounting for the majority to natural volume accounting for the majority, and the numbers moved backward one by one. Globally, the purchase volume initially accounted for 70-80%, and now it has dropped to 20-30%, “forming a natural and healthy growth state.”

The fourth stage is brand building and commercialization.

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