TikTok owner Bytedance unveils Snapchat clone

On the heels of teen-focused social ’s skyrocketing popularity, parent company Bytedance today announced Duoshan, a standalone app that borrows a page from Snapchat’s playbook.

Duoshan, which is Chinese for “flashes,” allows users to record and send each other short videos that disappear after 72 hours. The company says it will initially focus on finding loyal users for the app in its home market of China.

Duoshan is available on Android and iOS platforms, though at the time of writing, the iOS app was still in beta and was no longer accepting new test users.

In contrast to most other social messaging apps, Duoshan does not have any like or comment functionality. In the app, users are offered just two sections: one for posting new videos and the other to discover popular videos.

Bytedance also announced that TikTok has reached 250 million daily active users, up from the 500 million monthly active users across 150 countries it had reported in June last year. The app, which was merged with Musical.ly in 2017, surpassed Facebook, YouTube, and Snapchat in monthly installs in the U.S. last September, according to marketing research firm Sensor Tower.

The arrival of Duoshan will further fuel Bytedance’s quest to become the most popular social messaging platform in China, where it is challenging the dominance of Tencent’s WeChat app. WeChat, which has more than 1.1 billion monthly active users, is already blocking download links to the Duoshan app on its platform.

While WeChat remains ubiquitous in China, in recent years people in several markets have shown an interest in video apps. To accelerate its growth in the U.S. market, Bytedance has inked marketing deals with several celebrities, including Khloe Kardashian, Nick Jonas, and Nina Dobrev.

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