Friday Forum – We bring the hottest questions from the Chinese Social & Digital space to our brightest minds.

What's the biggest difference between Kuaishou and Douyin that brands should be aware of?

West Xu
Senior Account Manager / We Are Social


Kuaishou's mainly community-driven, while Douyin is a trend-oriented platform. In terms of geography, southerners like Douyin more, while northerners like Kuaishou more. For brand owners, vertical brands are more suitable for Douyin, because Douyin is more inclined to push content in specific areas, especially within design and entertainment. On the contrary, Kuaishou emphasizes on being a platform for the people, or as its slogan says, "everyone's life is worth being recorded", thus paying more attention to the everyday life and society. Douyin is more aggressive in building a commercial suite than Kuaishou. However, Kuaishou has found a stable business model, attracting smaller businesses with lower costs than Douyin. In short, use Kuaishou for product sales and Douyin for brand development.

Xiaoxiang Cao
Account Manager / We Are Social


focuses on "recommendation" while Kuaishou is all about
"following". What does that mean? Douyin users are highly influenced
and dependent on the recommendation algorithm. That gives brands the
opportunity to create more accurate advertising for better exposure. "The
life of the inner city" is the platform's DNA.

Kuaishou puts more emphasis on connecting people, where they share moments with friends and family. The rural areas are the main focus of the platform with a rustic style. According to the data analysis, the 4 & 5-tier cities represent the biggest audience on Kuaishou. Additionally, the platform is more suitable for small-scale promotions of local brands in certain areas.

Ocheal Su
Account Manager / We Are Social


The tonality
of the two platforms attracts different audiences. Douyin is undoubtedly the
first choice for overseas brands and fashion FMCG brands. Kuaishou highlights
everyday life with fun and eye-catching topics and is more suitable for
promotions aimed for third- and fourth-tier cities.

Douyin has
taken the lead in attracting high-end brands such as Lancome, Estée Lauder, and
others, aimed at young audiences who are pursuing high-end life. The "Lao
Tie (brother)" culture of Kuaishou inevitably links brands to a more
"rustic style". But its social attributes are stronger and can
reflect Chinese people's lifestyles better.

When brands choose a platform for promotion, the first thing to consider is whether it meets the brand's requirements and whether the existing content styles on the platform are consistent with the brand tone.

Reece Xiang
Account Executive / We Are Social


In my opinion, Kuaishou is closer to life, and Douyin is closer to fashion, which creates two very different core user demographics, and by effect different promotion strategies for brands. Douyin has young people from first- and second-tier cities as its main core group, which is great for product seeding, giving opportunities for brands to create new styles, leading trends, and expanding their popularity. Kuaishou on the other hand is mostly used by people from tier 2, 3, and 4 cities, so the difference in education level and consumption needs makes it more suitable for brands to distribute already trendy products, especially high-quality and inexpensive products.

Max Fang
Account Executive / We Are Social


Firstly, Tiktok and Kuaishou have different styles of content. The majority of the content on Kuaishou are reflecting the real life of users. But for Douyin, the combination of dramatic music and popular internet gags tend to be easy to become brainwashing contents. Such a difference in the content has directly led to the two platforms having different target audiences. Douyin attracts young people with vitality, who are usually located in the first and second-tier cities. The audience of Kuaishou is more extensive with content that is easy to understand which is more attractive to the three or four-tier city users. Finally, the algorithm of the two platforms is also different. The exposure mechanism will quickly boost some of the high-quality videos on Douyin. On the other hand, Kuaishou's algorithm has a "popularity weighting" mechanism, which helps more users to get equal opportunities to display their works.