The more users, the better? Not

The short video was already in its infancy in 2011, but it was not until the second half of 2016 that the vibrato was on the line. As a latecomer, how did the vibrato develop into a leader in short video platforms in just two or three years?

Today, from the perspective of platform strategy, I will analyze the growth strategy of the rapid rise of the vibrato, and the current growth difficulties and solutions that I am facing, hoping to bring a new dimension of thinking.

What is a platform? Simply put, companies that provide trading venues and value-added services to producers and consumers are platform-based businesses (note: transactions do not necessarily include payments), such as vibrato, which provides trading venues for short video creators and consumers. A platform for value-added services.

Two important growth strategies for the network effect of the platform
It was only launched in September 2016, but from January 2018 to January 2019, in just one year, the daily activity has increased from 30 million to 250 million. What is the growth strategy of the vibrato?

Let us first clarify a basic concept – the network effect. At the beginning of this year, three companies had issued three communication apps at the same time: toilet MT, multi-flash, chat treasure, and now there are people? No, why? Because the value of the platform depends on the efficiency and network effect of solving the problem, not just the value of your product.

Why is the network effect important?

In general, the purpose of increasing the number of users in traditional enterprises is to reduce the average cost and achieve the scale effect, which is based on the supply side. But for platform-based enterprises, more from the demand side, the network effect brings more value.

Based on this, how can platform-based enterprises achieve rapid growth?

1. From unilateral drive to bilateral drive

Generally speaking, every Internet platform, since it is a trading place, has at least two types of users. It is a problem of chickens and eggs.

For example, if the platform has no drivers at all, what will the consumer do? No car can be played, right? It must have a certain amount of drivers to attract passengers. From the driver’s point of view, this platform is useless if there are no passengers at all. However, if the platform is just beginning to develop, there are neither drivers nor passengers, no chickens or eggs. What should I do?

Unilateral driving: Focusing only on the growth of one side of the user, the growth of the user on the other side is achieved by the growth of one side of the user.

Bilateral drive: I hope to increase the users on both sides at the same time.

Is it a single-sided drive or a bilateral drive? If it is a one-sided drive, which side is it driven first?

The strategy of vibrating is like this. At the beginning of its establishment, it used a single-sided drive – more concerned with the growth of short video creators.

Why do you say that? Looking at the Baidu search index, before April 2017, the search volume of the vibrato was not significantly improved. The reason was that the vibrato in the early stage of creation was more focused on attracting creators, but it was not widely promoted on the consumer side.

What was the slogan that vibrated at the time? – Let worship begin here. Vibrato hopes to attract more consumers to the platform through the head creators.

However, with the development of the platform, it is impossible to drive unilaterally forever. After reaching a certain scale, it will shift from unilateral to bilateral. Thus, starting in April 2017, the vibrato has slowly shifted from unilateral to bilateral development, and a series of operational activities began to shift from subsidizing creators to attracting mass consumers. And slogan has also changed, becoming — recording a good life.

Through such a strategy, the vibrato finally completed a curve growth.

Extended thinking:

Is this strategic approach applicable to all platform-based businesses? Do not.

In general, in the initial stage of a platform-based enterprise, who is the first to drive or focus on subsidies? (Supply side and consumption side) This depends on which side the two parties are more dependent on, and which side the user depends on.

How to judge? Take the vibrato as an example. In the initial stage, who is the creator and the consumer? You can assume two extreme situations, such as this platform without any consumers, I want to attract creators, what should I do? We can subsidize them. For example, if you send a video, I will give you 1,000 yuan. That is to say, if I attract 10,000 head creators, the platform may be very rich.

On the other hand, if there is no creator at all, we want to subsidize the consumer, for example, give you 1 yuan, you go on the platform for an hour, is the consumer willing? Most are not willing, right?

Therefore, you can determine which side is driven first by asking extreme questions.

2. Focus on local network effects

Choosing a unilateral drive or a bilateral drive is just the first step in developing a growth strategy. The network effect is a complex effect.

The value of the platform increases with the number of users, is this the case for every user? Obviously not. More precisely, the value of the platform will increase with the growth of some users around us or like it.

For example, although most people are using WeChat, what if my friends go to chat? I definitely don’t need WeChat, because I can’t find them, I will also use chat treasure.

In other words, platform-based enterprises must pay attention to focusing on local network effects, vertical subdivision, and individual breaks. For example, as a latecomer’s vibrato, in order to compete with the fast-handed dislocation, the first focus is on young people, attention to the tide, and attention to cool. By September 2017, 85% of users with vibrato are less than 24 years old, basically “after 95” or even “after 00”.

The same idea, in order to prevent being surpassed by the latecomers, in addition to vibrato, today’s headlines also launched a variety of short video APP, volcano benchmarking fast, watermelon is satisfied with viewers who want to watch a relatively long video, such as 2 minutes of short news video.

Leading companies are not going to include their functions in their own products when dealing with later competitors. Instead, they need to build new products to compete with others.

After the development of the platform is relatively large, local network effects can also be released. The practice of vibrating is the vibrato challenge, which allows the head creators to drive more public participation.

However, young people will gradually grow and their needs will change. As a company, it is necessary to choose how to focus and release local network effects according to the stage and ability of their own enterprises.

Negative network effect growth three major dilemmas
The more users on the platform, the better? No.

As the number of users grows, negative network effects (product value decreases as the number of users grows) will gradually emerge. For example, the current vibrato has encountered three growth dilemmas: the creators’ traffic disputes, and later creators are not easy to get traffic; the number of videos is increasing, consumers are hard to find satisfactory videos; low-quality content is increased, it is not easy to remove .

In fact, for the Internet platform, these are not new problems. To look at the e-commerce platform, the problems are similar: there is competition among sellers; the number of commodities is difficult to choose; the quality of goods is difficult to guarantee.

The competition among video creators is actually the competition between sellers and the competition on the same side; the number of commodities is huge, consumers have difficulty in choosing, and in fact, it is actually the problem of information overload; the quality of goods is difficult to guarantee, the essence is actually information. The problem of symmetry is that there is a message that the user on one side knows, but the platform and the other user do not know.

Therefore, the problem facing the vibrato is not a new problem. To find a solution, you can actually learn from the e-commerce platform. Based on this, let’s see how the vibrato is cracking the three dilemmas.

1. Optimize the content distribution mechanism to make the information more orderly

Avoid creator traffic disputes and reduce consumer choice costs.

Give full play to the advantages of matching mode, and match video and consumer through big data analysis, which is similar to the product recommendation mode of e-commerce. But the foundation of the vibrato is the match, and the recommended match in the e-commerce is only a part, and often depends on the user to search.

However, every video creator wants to have traffic, and the total consumer contribution traffic on the platform is relatively constant. Isn’t this a zero-sum game? Whether it’s matching or searching, the creators are still competing for traffic, or they will be very intense.

That is to say, the essence of solving this problem is not to match the recommendation, but to match the recommendation system, make the information more orderly, and create the ideal scene of the matching system, so as to achieve a win-win situation between the creator and the consumer. For example, in vibrato, as long as you can provide a satisfactory video to the consumer, you can quickly become a net red.

2. Automatic and efficient quality monitoring to ensure platform content quality

The number of videos is huge, and the choice of consumers is difficult. Can it be solved with a matching recommendation system?

The problem is that if you can’t solve the quality of the video, even if it matches the user, the user will not be satisfied. Therefore, we must focus on solving product quality problems.

If you are a heavy user, you will find that many of the stalks are similar. Slowly, if you watch 10 such videos a day, you will feel that the quality of this product is not good.

how should I solve this? The way to vibrate is to recommend through real-time feedback data. For example, what kind of video can be promoted on a large scale? In addition to the praise rate, there is a more fun indicator – the completion rate. Is that you watch a video, have you read it? In fact, through this indicator, you can more clearly identify high-quality video.

In short, good learning is not simply based on the drawings. It is not necessarily effective to apply the existing solutions directly. The key is to look at the essence through the phenomenon, learn from the existing ones, and find the one that suits you best.