Popular short video platform Douyin to roll out anti-addiction features
Chinese video platform Douyin has a problem most apps can only dream of: People are using it for too long.
Now the app is rolling out “anti-addiction” features to try and cut down the amount of time people are spending on Douyin, one of the country’s most popular platforms for short videos as well as live streaming. Under the plan, users who spend more than 90 continuous minutes in the app will get an alert, while watching for over two hours will lock the app entirely -- though it can be unlocked again by entering a password.
90 minutes may seem like a long time, but it’s not unusual by the standard of other streaming services. Twitch says users spend an average of 106 minutes a day watching gaming streams on the site.
But it is unusual when you consider that Douyin made its name as a short video app, with clips limited to just 15 seconds -- a little like the now-dead app Vine. You’d have to watch 360 of those videos in a row to hit Douyin’s 90 minute warning.
As for Douyin’s live streams, Technode cites local media saying the feature has been temporarily removed as part of a “system upgrade.”
It comes at a tough time for Douyin’s parent company, Bytedance. Its popular news aggregator Toutiao is under fire from authorities, as the government takes an increasingly harsh line against platforms that it says stray from “core socialist values.”
Toutiao’s mobile app has been temporarily suspended from app stores and it’s been forced to change how it moderates content. The company’s popular joke app Neihan Duanzi wasn’t so lucky -- it’s been banned entirely.