Why ByteDance’s Attempt To Mimic Xiaohongshu Failed Again

ByteDance’s app Kesong, which resembles Xiaohongshu, was removed from the app store just a few weeks after its release. Where did it go wrong?

As the social media battlefield gets increasingly fierce, platforms are looking for new business and content models to grow their stagnant traffic pools. But they are not necessarily succeeding.

In the west, Instagram’s latest move to transform itself into a recommendation-based short-video app like TikTok has sparked a hot debate among users and top influencers, including Kylie Jenner. Now, the Meta-owned platform seems to have temporarily backtracked from the plan.

Meanwhile in China, ByteDance’s latest app called Kesong 可颂 — which mimics lifestyle platform Xiaohongshu — has been removed from Apple and Android stores only a few weeks after its release on July 11. To date, the tech giant has not officially stated the reasons behind its withdrawal. So, what went wrong?

Firstly, when Kesong was released, many early adopters rushed to test it. In less than two weeks, it amassed 64,000 downloads according to data analysis platform Qimai. But despite this initial appeal, it didn’t necessarily live up to expectations: in the app’s rating section, users complained that “the explore page was very similar to Xiaohongshu, if not identical.” Some predicted the flop, with one user stating: “Without differentiation, this constitutes intellectual property infringement and monopoly.” Continue to read the full article here