same is a newly emerged Chinese social app that claims to have nearly 200,000 registered users, most of whom are students, female or below 28. “Many young people feel void, bored and want to be listened to in today’s stressed and speedy world.” same told TechNode in an interview. Divided into Channel to build communities and Chat for networking, same sets out to provide users with an outlet to express and find mutual feelings with each other – hence the name “same“. It intentionally makes the app easy enough so that users can pick it up quickly.

The startup claims to be an original homegrown social network, defying lazy stereotypes of Copy2China. A same engineer recently revealed same‘s  “high rate of return” on Zhihu, China’s Quora equivalence. The secret behind the sticky user base, he suggests, is gamifying the app. Gamification is manifested by the variety of channel types such as text, image, music, movie, voting, “punch-the-clock”, and the fact that anyone can set up their own channel with a designated rule/theme.

Douban is one of the few “truly original” Chinese social networks that has stood the test of time and gained much success. It remains to be seen whether same can be the next one.

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Rita Liao

Telling the uncommon China stories through tech. I can be reached at ritacyliao [at] gmail [dot] com.