Cover picture credit- LIKEE
Picture credit-The Indian Express

Recently, the popular Chinese video-sharing social platform, TikTok’s fate is a little uncertain. Meanwhile, its comparatively smaller rival Likee has garnered a whopping 150 million monthly active users during June this year. At the start of lockdown due to the pandemic, TikTok saw 200 million active users daily since most of us were left with no choice but to stay at home. TikTok and like are both iOs and android media apps for multimedia content creation and sharing short videos.  In that aspect, TikTok is a much bigger platform than Likee, but Likee has something unique to offer to its users.  Likee allows its active users to earn money from the virtual gifts sent by fans of these influencers whereas the main focus of TikTok is content consumption.

LIKEE’s unique features.

Formerly known as Like Video, Likee is similar in interface with its competitors. The primary interface of the app is quite simple and easy to navigate, even for people who are not so-called “tech-savvy”.

Complementing its infinity long video feed is the feature of parental control to filter the content accessible to young users. Though Likee also provides a news tab, that looks like a half baked attempt on their part, as there are not many important clips that would necessarily fall in the news category. Several media outlets can be seen posting short news clips, but the number must be potentially increased to make the NewsTab look more refined.

Likee has two other unique features going by the name of “supreme” and “Magic face Feature”. The former allows the user to create videos using photos in their gallery and the latter allows users to have fun by simply morphing their favorite celebrity’s face with their own, in their dance or movie scenes.

The Magic Face Feature.
Picture Credits- Indian Television.

Further being asked about how it’s users earn money, Mike Ong, BIGO’s Vice President told that they have different modules that help users earn money in the course of using the application. Also, they get a monthly retainer based on the content. Ong mentioned that Likee has introduced a Talent Creator Academy where the app will give financial support to fresh talents. A platform to create quality content and earn monetary benefits has been the only target of this academy.

This Singapore based TikTok arrival has given TikTok a promising future run for the money by ranking as the fourth most downloaded social media application and had a 121.9% increase in monthly active users in the quarter 1 of 2020.

Geopolitics led to the ban of 59 Chinese applications in India due to privacy concerns.

Picture Credits– The Indian Express

Likee, just like TikTok, has not been fortunate enough to escape the jaws of geopolitics. India’s recent scrutiny over apps with Chinese origin has caused Likee to be banned in its biggest market. It’s sister app Bigo Live too got banned along with 57 other apps including TikTok. Likee’s parent company Joyy reportedly said that they have shifted their focus on other markets after the Indian government banned the app in India. Chinese entertainment company Joyy has now reduced sales and marketing expenditure in India. The ban will have a short term effect on user size but will not impact the company’s overall strategy and monetization.

Total New App downloads during the quarantine. Picture Credit- PingWest.

After India, the US is the second biggest market of this Singaporean video-based social platform and can be named as the fastest-growing rival of Tiktok. Between June 2019 and June 2020, Likee garnered around 70 million Monthly Active Users or MAUs. In between the period of July and early August, Likee was hit with 7.25 million downloads. It is also witnessing rapid growth in Indonesia and Russia. With the newfound foreign market risks, Likee is now focusing on relationships with Local governments and expanding their local operations.

LIKEE’s two successful endeavors- Partnership with Believe Digital and its sister app BIGO Live

Likee has recently partnered up with Believe Digital, an independent leading music company, operating in more than 44 nations across the world. Believe Digital owns as many as the world’s 20 top music labels and brought a Library of millions of songs to Likee users. The newly formed partnership has been deemed as a win-win situation for both the firms by offering local users global content and vice versa.

Although Joyy is little known outside its home market, it has become a pioneer in the Live stream. The Nasdaq-listed company, Joyy, ever since its foundation in 2005 has popularized the idea of virtual gifting. There is a provision of virtual gifting in live streams in its flagship site YY. Fans have the option to gift their favorite influencers virtual flowers and likes which can later be converted to cash. YY’s monetization strategy was a big hit and Likee surpassed all the other live streaming rivals of all kind. With the home market captured, Joyy backed Likee then ventured overseas.

Picture Credit-GBKSOFT

Li Xueling, Joyy’s founder and CEO, started Bigo, Likee’s sister app, in Singapore as a separate entity to keep it all cleared of the investors’ pressure as a public firm. Li had his hopes high with Bigo Live and when short videos became the trend, Bigo rolled out Likee. The Vice President of BIGO believes that they can take a leading position in this developing platform, and bring together influencers, brands, and organizations and, build a successful ecosystem. Bigo’s success overseas has been a confidence booster for Joyy. With 91% of its users coming from foreign markets, Joyy presently has 457 million MAUs as of June 2020. But when questioned about market dominance Li has been humble to cite ByteDance (TikTok parent) founder Zhang Yiming,” the most far-sighted” person in his knowledge so far.