Dec 14, 2017

Toutiao may be the next generation of content aggregators

We learned to look at China and take Alibaba and Tencent seriously, but most of us don't look beyond the two. Then Bytedance acquired, and everyone wondered who they are... well, they are an exciting new player who also owns a very interesting app called Toutiao. Much like Facebook, or Upday, Apple News and others it puts together a news feed for customers by aggregating content, and the selection is not done by editors, but by advanced algorithms - for example, it automatically tags videos based on object and image recognition to learn about individual preferences. Newsfeeds are built on each user's individual behaviour - currently, they have 120 million daily active users with (attention:) an average time spent of 74 minutes (!!) in the app. If they manage to use their insights from China for other markets, and they declared that's an objective, Toutiao might be a candidate for one of the first really successful digital exports to the US and Europe.