YY rebrands social platform to speed-dating app ‘Zhuiya’

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Screenshot of Zhuiya’s page in Apple’s China App Store. (Image Credit: TechNode)

Live-streaming social media company YY on Wednesday relaunched its “Shiting PK” social app to “Zhuiya” to include speed-dating functionalities based on common interests, targeting users between 18 and 30 years old.

Why it matters: Social media appears to be the new forefront for competition among Chinese internet firms. Companies have been trying to nab share of the market with frequent launches of new apps, though so far none have come close to challenging WeChat’s throne.

  • The year 2018 saw the release of 159 social apps. In the first two months of 2019, 53 social apps were launched, WeChat media TechPlanet (in Chinese) reported.
  • Weibo pulled its new Instagram clone, Oasis, from app store shelves just two days after its high-profile September 3 launch after a netizen pointed out that the logo had been plagiarized from a South Korean design firm’s logo for a music festival.

Details: Developed by a subsidiary of YY, Zhuiya—which roughly translates into “Chase’em”—is described in Apple’s China App Store as a dating and relationship platform.

  • Upon logging in, users are required to choose from a number of interest tags, after which they are redirected to a chat room with other users who have picked the same tags, featuring a matchmaker moderator.
  • In the chat room, users can start up to nine three-minute private speed-dating sessions with other users.  During a speed dating session, users can either type or use voice chat to talk with their date. Users who are not in any sessions are allowed to connect in the public chat.
  • Zhuiya also has live-streaming features that pit two livestreamers against each other with the goal of comparing the number of virtual gifts they receive.
  • YY downplayed the rebranding as an update to an old app, saying that it is not a social product of strategic importance to the company, Sina Tech reported.

Context: The speed-dating feature is new to the social app market. Other popular dating apps, such as location-based dating app Momo which boasts 115 million users as of end-June, have chatting and interest-based features without time limits.