Beauty-driven app Meitu to become ‘China’s Instagram’ and eyes e-commerce expansion

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

Beauty-driven app Meitu to become ‘China’s Instagram’ and eyes e-commerce expansion
China’s photo editing tool Meitu is being transformed into a social media platform rivalling Instagram, where users can “create and share beauty”.

Meitu’s very own makeover will be arriving in the form of an update slated for release on Sep 21, the company announced last week at a press conference in Beijing.

This update will be the biggest the company has ever rolled out and will allow users to share images right on the app after processing them, not unlike Instagram.

“While image-based social media has a massive overseas market, there has been no such counterpart in China,”​ said Wu Xinhong, CEO and Founder of Meitu. “Meitu is set to become a one-stop solution: after processing their photos, users can share right here on the Meitu app.”

Driven by beauty

One of the most successful application developers in the world with a suite of products that revolve around the selfie culture, Meitu is estimated to be worth billions – all thanks to China’s beauty obsession.

Just last month, the company kicked off its inaugural Meivolution Festival in Shanghai to a resounding success. From July 20 to 22, Meitu users, 61% of whom are between ages 18 and 30, stepped out to share their common passion – beauty.

When Meitu soft-launched its social media feature, its users spent an average of 25 minutes on it, logging in eight times a day, and viewing over 75 pages. Of all the images shared, Meitu revealed that 95% of them were selfies.

But it is not surprising. The ideal Meitu user is someone who snaps selfies with Meitu’s specialised selfie phones and enhances them with their apps before sharing the retouched images.

E-commerce possibilities

Soon, they will be able to post them on Meitu’s own online community, and if all goes well, they will be shopping on it as well.

A rep from Meitu shared that e-commerce could soon become an element of Meitu, something the company already has some experience with.

Its MakeupPlus app already has an e-commerce feature, Counter, which allows consumers to virtually try on products and purchase them on the spot. Brands available on Counter include Make Up For Ever, Bobbi Brown, Etude House, and Missha.

The company shared that Meitu’s siblings, like Meipai, will be interconnected with its social platform.

“Our other apps can direct traffic to the Meitu social media platform, or it can be the other way around. This creates synergies within our ecosystem and supports our monetisation strategy,” said Meitu.

To test this, Meitu released the “Collage of Hearts” feature during the soft launch and cross promoted it on Meipai. The feature drove a 29% increase in Daily Active Users (DAU) and created dynamic interactions between users.

Right now, however, the company is focused on building up the community on their social app. “We are focusing on helping users create and share engaging content within the community as well as building relational connections among users.”

Related topics Market Trends East Asia China

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