After success in live streaming followed by an impressive user growth and steady profits during 9 consecutive quarters, China’s biggest location-based social network Momo has set out to find the next big thing in China’s social trends.
Momo’s foray into live streaming made headlines in March after the company announced that its revenue recorded a 524 percent year-on-year jump to $246.1 million in Q4 last year, while the annual revenue soared 313 percent to reach $553.1 million. But Momo is not willing to rest on its laurels. The company’s COO Wang Li announced during an interview with Tencent Tech (in Chinese) that they are looking to make more room for innovation in live videos.
Momo’s version 8.0 update introduced new features the company hopes will capitalize on its streaming success: one-on-one (Fast chat) and group (Party) video streaming as well as new options for playing Werewolf, one of China’s most popular party games. The company plans to add 7 to 8 adjustable new modules for interaction.
Wang said that video will continue to be the core of their strategy since live streaming provides a fuller social feedback experience. The new changes are hoped to build an open platform for making friends and combining different functions to achieve an organic combination.
“Being open means that anyone can have fun here, it is not like WeChat which is partially closed with contact list style of connections. Momo is above all an open, flowing platform with people coming and going,” said Wang.
“8.0 hopes to build an organically interconnected style of interaction,” he added. “For example, you can establish a relationship through the ‘People nearby’ function and deepen it through the ‘Fast chat’. It is also possible to build the relationship through ‘Fast chat’ and develop it through the ‘Party’ feature; they depend on each other, it’s an interdependent organic whole.”
According to Momo’s Q1 report, live streaming has significantly improved user activity on Momo’s app with live streaming penetration among daily users reaching 24 percent and short videos reaching 46 percent. As of March 2017, Momo’s monthly active users reached 85.2 million.
Commentators have noted that Momo might have hit a ceiling in live streaming user numbers which is why it is turning to new tactics. In the past, the company’s gamble to turn Momo from dating platform into a social and live streaming platform has paid off and today it is hoping to find new stimulus for users to continue using the product.
The move might also signal a new era for live streaming services, which in recent months have been facing stricter government regulation.