Chinese knowledge platform Zhihu on Friday rolled out a live-streaming feature, enabling selected content creators to use live videos to interact with users in what had been a largely text-based community, media outlet 36Kr reported.

Why it matters: Zhihu has been increasing its monetization efforts, launching a paid membership system that gives users access to premium content and building its native ad system to deploy less intrusive ads.

  • Adding a live-streaming feature may help with user engagement and drive monetization growth.

Details: Zhihu is testing the live-streaming function and only available for users who have received invites from the platform.

  • Users are selected based on their “Zhihu Yanzhi” point system or Zhihu “salt level,” which can be increased by answering questions and posting articles on the platform.
  • Similar to other live-streaming platforms, Zhihu’s new feature allows viewers to tip livestreamers with virtual gifts purchased with real money. The platform did not disclose whether it was
  • A large number of users responded to questions posted on the platform saying that they couldn’t find the portal to the new feature despite updating the app to the newest version, TechNode observed at the time of publication.
  • As of Saturday morning, Zhihu’s livestreaming feature was not accessible on iOS devices.

Context: In August, Zhihu completed a $434 million Series F led by short video platform Kuaishou. The funding was the largest fundraise in China’s online content and entertainment segment for the past two years.

  • The platform’s E-round in August 2018 raised around $270 million, giving the company a valuation of $2.5 billion.
  • Zhihu has 220 million registered users and more than 130 million user-generated answers as of November 2018. The platform had 34 million daily active users as of March 2018, according to the company.

Tony Xu is Shanghai-based tech reporter. Connect with him via e-mail:

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