Vine may be long gone in the United States after closing down a year ago, but the popularity of short videos is only rising in China.
The short video format played a key role in Weibo’s rebound as the number of short video viewers in China is expected to rise from 153 million in 2016 to an estimated 353 million in 2018. The Chinese Twitter-like social platform’s years of declining users saw a turnaround starting in 2016 that corresponded with the growing popularity of short video platform Miaopai, which is available on Weibo through both post embeds and Weibo’s video tab.
Weibo’s video-driven resurgence has benefited brands as well. L2’s new China: Video Insight Report finds that brands earn significantly more engagement on Weibo posts with embedded videos than those without them. Only 9% of CPG brands’ Weibo posts included video content, but posts that featured video earned more than triple the engagement of those that did not.
The report also finds that Miaopai stands out among video platforms when it comes to generating Weibo post views. The average CPG brand gets over 1.6 million views for Weibo posts with Miaopai videos, while garnering just 276,000 views for posts with embedded content from Tencent Video.
Brands’ Weibo posts with embedded Yizhibo livestreams are also less popular than those with Miaopai videos, which see about 897,000 views. Both Yizhibo and Miaopai appear in the same video section on Weibo, however, as they are both owned by the same parent company. That company is Yixia Tech, which received a $500 million investment from Sina Weibo in 2016.
Meanwhile, video platform Youku is becoming less attractive for brand-created content as it is mainly used for watching TV shows and movies. CPG brands’ Youku videos fare much worse than they do on Weibo, receiving only 248 views. In fact, Youku has seen a decline in brand adoption as short video has taken off—the percentage of Index luxury brands with official Youku accounts decreased in 2017.