Meitu to expand beauty focus into social media platform

Chinese photo and video editing and sharing service Meitu is broadening its operation by following a “beauty and social media” strategic pathway.

And it is restructuring its commercial operations, expanding opportunities for brands and retailers to reach its massive database both within China and beyond.

The 10-year-old platform already boats more than 1.5 billion unique users worldwide, with more than one third of those from outside China, including the US, Brazil, Japan, South Korea, India, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam. In February this year, Meitu engaged 454.7 million monthly active users.

Now, the company plans to enter the social media space, going beyond its focus on beauty products encouraging communities to build and share.

The core Meitu app will be upgraded on September 21 and the Meipai app repositioned as a pan-knowledge, short-video platform. The parent company will be reorganised into three distinct business divisions, including a Social Product Business Unit.

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

Meitu tested the market with a soft launch of the community feature Social Circle in May and reports encouraging feedback. “Each day, core users spend an average of 25 minutes on Social Circle, launch the app eight times, and view more than 75 pages,” the company said in a statement.

“Linking tools aimed at creating an interconnected community have also proven to be effective. For example, the Collage of Hearts feature drove a 29 per cent increase in daily active users and created dynamic interactions between them. Forty-one per cent of new users posted their collage of hearts creation as their first action in the community.

Meitu 1

Commercial direction

From this week, Meitu has restructured into a product-driven company, with three major business divisions: the Social Product Business Unit, the Beauty Product Business Unit and the Smart Hardware Product Business Unit. Meitu and Meipai brands will fit into the social product arm.

The company says the advertising platform serves as a traffic distribution mechanism, “a business product that matches users with advertisements”.

“The outer layer is Meitu’s “beauty ecosystem” of commercial products, including smart hardware, an e-commerce platform, and value-added services, with more to come.

“Beauty and social media are our strategic focus for Meitu’s second decade and a long-term goal,” said Wu Xinhong.

Meipai: ‘Pan-Knowledge’ repositioning

Meanwhile, Meipai will be repositioned to a “pan-knowledge” short-video sharing platform. It aims to add value for users by focusing on the sharing of people’s talent, skills and experiences, enabling its users to share and learn new dance moves, perform magic tricks or skateboard, apply makeup, do yoga, make dessert, play the Rubik’s cube or do crafts, for example.

“Meipai has a solid foundation for further development: Meipai’s content library now includes more than 300 sub-genres and more than 30,000 key opinion leaders. Meipai has also partnered with more than 50 top short-video MCN organisations,” the company said.

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