Yizhibo Turned Live-Streaming into Chinese Millennials’ New Favorite Format


With 59.7 million registered users, Yizhibo became one of the biggest live-streaming platforms in China. While Weibo announces the acquisition of the app, live-stream format turns into the new gateway to reach Chinese millennials audience


The Chinese applications market is increasingly conquering the digital world. Usually, we hear about Chinese apps like WeChat and Weibo, which have now become popular all around the world. However, many other social platforms are gaining more and more popularity among the youngest users and are now ready to cross over to China’s favorite apps charts.


yizhibo - live-streaming platform - cifnews

© Yizhibo 一直播. Live-streaming platform Yizhibo has recently moved into Sina’s office and it’s expected to enter an in-depth cooperation with Weibo.


Among the lastest, there is Yizhibo, a live-streaming app, which rides the wave of online video success. This live-streaming platform has recently become the favorite app of the Middle Kingdom’s millennials playing a significant role in the actual information-sharing ecosystem.


32.7% of internet users have registered on Yizhibo, making it the top live-streaming app among Chinese millennials.


Yizhibo 一直播 was launched on Weibo by Yixia Technology in 2016. It works as a live-streaming platform fully integrated into the microblogging site where users can easily start their stream by tapping on the app icon.

The interface is similar to the internationally popular live-streaming app such as Instagram Live or Periscope. In addition to the home feed and video categories, the user can also add filters to the stream that is subsequently posted on the user’s Weibo profile. In this way, followers have easy access to past live-streams that they can share, comment or like.

“I spend lots of time watching videos and live-streamed content on Weibo to kill time. And the best part is, I don’t have to turn on another app or switch between two apps from time to time because they are on the same user interface now,” said the user Zhao Xiaomei to China Daily.


yizhibo - live-streaming user - cifnews

© Yizhibo 一直播. During the month after its launch, Yizhibo achieved an average of 7.73 million daily active users and more than 300 Chinese celebrities have joined in on the live streaming trend.


Thanks to the integration with the social network and the ease of use, the app became soon one of the biggest live-streaming platforms in China with 59.7 million registered users. According to reports, 32.7% of internet users have registered on Yizhibo making it rank first in user acquisition in 2017.

This Chinese new success came from one of the leading video app developers that not only was able to follow the emerging video boom at its early stage but it also contributed to consolidate the trend in the country. In fact, before Yizhibo, Yixia Technology already launched two other video-related popular products: Miaopai, a leading video clip editing and sharing app, and Xiaokaxiu, a video-dubbing one.

Founded in 2011 by Han Kun in Beijing, Yinxia Tech turned from a startup into one of China’s Unicorns after receiving investments from Sina, Weibo’s parent, in 2013. The strategic investment and the integration with Weibo allowed the Beijing company to grow in a very short time. In the meantime, it also allowed the social network giant to acquire more quality content and a further entertainment feature.


Although a competitive live-streaming market, Yizhibo achieved outstanding performance in a short time largely due to its integration into the Weibo platform.


Yinxia Tech’s Yizhibo has recently been in the spotlight when local media announced Weibo’s acquisition of its live-streaming partner.

Actually, Yizhibo’s team has been moved into Sina Plaza, the principal office for Sina Corporation that operates Sina.com and Weibo, where the two companies are now working on strengthening the cooperation. On one hand, the acquisition will help the app to face the impact of short-video apps like Douyin or Kuaishou; on the other hand, the social network will keep its appeal with quality video content while the revenues will benefit from Yizhibo’s video ads.

Even before the acquisition, Yizhibo and Weibo already established a collaborative partnership for content creation and circulation creating a stronger social-interaction based business model supported by the microblog’s huge traffic and social influence.


yizhibo - girl shooting video - cifnews

© Unsplash. Weibo’s video function represents an asset as the video social networking is considered to be the next leading model of social media products.


For what concerns the audience Yizhibo brings to the microblog, it is mainly composed of post-90s and post 2000 tech-savvy users who live in Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities. The fact that this niche belongs to China’s emerging middle class allows the live-streaming app to become the ideal environment for influencer or content marketing.


With 59.7 million registered users, Yizhibo not only became one of the biggest live-streaming platforms in China but it also turned into a key branding tool for international companies to reach the Chinese audience.


In fact, while many new Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) are flourishing among the app’s users, Yizhibo turned into a key branding tool for companies, even if it can not directly lead to sales. Through live-streams, KOLs endorse products or places but the real strength is that viewers can engage in real-time conversations to learn more about the topic.

Travel brands found in the live-stream format the ideal environment to sponsor travel destinations. Through live-streaming videos, users have the chance to become aware of new places and have an up-close view into unknown destinations. It thus works as a buzz-making tool rather than a common e-commerce platform.

San Francisco Travel Association has been the first organization to start a live-streaming program in the app in order to promote their destinations to Chinese travelers. Since December 2016, the association held many live-stream events at various locations such as the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Napa Valley, and at the city airport.

During one of these events in Yosemite, Hylink – China’s largest independent digital advertising agency – revealed that one of their members’ live-stream was able to gain 148,000 total views collecting viewers’ questions about the park and the city.

A different successful example was the campaign launched by Nutrilite. In order to promote their products and healthy lifestyles, the supplements brand launched a live-stream entitled “Breakfast for Everybody”, which brought in 150 million viewers in total in only 3 days while millions of users shared their breakfasts on Weibo.


yizhibo - mark chao - cifnews

© Le Figaro. Taiwanese-Canadian actor Mark Chao launched a live-stream to promote his new TV series. The live-streaming video attracted 154 million viewers.


It has become clear that in China live-streaming has already become a mature industry that includes many business opportunities. Moreover, in this colorful landscape, brands can rely on various kinds of streamer and audience to reach their goals.

Viewers love the app as they can find entertainment and educational videos while KOLs prefer it compared to other platforms because of the exposure to Weibo’s massive user base. On their parts, brands can benefit from Yizhibo’s e-commerce live-streaming, which can host links to Taobao and Tmall.

Since 2016, live-streaming became one of the most popular trends in China and a huge boost for e-commerce. Now, more than ever, Chinese consumers are buying into live-stream and short-form video formats whose attractiveness is that of providing people with entertainment and a glimpse into the lives and experiences of others.

Nevertheless, recent data showed Yizhibo has suffered from a slow growth over the past year but although there are many live-streaming platforms, the Beijing-based app achieved outstanding performance in a very short time also thanks to its partnership with Weibo.

Even though the live-streaming industry is cooling down, the microblog’s acquisition might start new forms of collaboration that will surely consolidate the app in the market and it will open doors to new communication opportunities for Chinese millennials.

In just two years, Yizhibo managed to become one of the biggest live-streaming apps in China and now international brands started to launch their campaigns in the platform.

Did Yizhibo turn the live-stream format into the new gateway to reach Chinese youngest audience?


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