China Search: Baidu, WeChat and ByteDance
- On May 17, 2021
- alibaba, baidu, bytedance, china search, WeChat
Since the PC era, after Baidu unified the search world, China’s search field has been without war for several years. However, recently, with the entry of giants such as ByteDance, WeChat, and Alibaba, the search game has ushered in heated discussions.
Since the beginning of this year, “Sou Yi Sou” has appeared as one of the six major products of WeChat ecology. Later, Douyin released an annual video during the Spring Festival, focusing on the concept of “video search”.
The mobile Taobao has also recently updated its app, placing the search function in an important position at the top of the product’s main page. Including mobile phone Baidu and Toutiao, many other products are launching new products around “search”.
Why do IT giants do searches?
When it comes to search, we may first think of a search box. This is the solidified way for users to interact with the search interface in the PC era.
WeChat Souyisou believes that search should not be framed, “it should appear in every place where curiosity arises.”
In order to break the limitation of the “box”, WeChat has made a series of new attempts in search form since last year. For example, many search needs come from daily communication between people, so WeChat launched the finger search function.
If you encounter knowledge blind spots while chatting, just press and hold the text in the message and click “Search” in the menu to search. WeChat hopes to search while chatting, and send it directly to friends after searching, without interrupting the chat scene.
As represented by WeChat, one of the key points of this round of search upgrades is to break away from the limitations of the “box”, refine the implementation of the search function to specific scenarios, and adapt the corresponding search form.
In addition to working hard on the search input form, the optimization of search results is also extremely critical.
The mobile Taobao has undergone a major version update. The most obvious change in the update is that the search bar appears at the top of the App main page conspicuously. In the past, using Taobao search, the result of jumping out was a row of products, which aggregated many information including price, number of purchasers, product introduction and so on. After this version update, the search information delivered to users is more intelligent.
If it is a long decision link that focuses on offline products, such as sanitary ware, furniture and other categories, the first screen of the search results is the advertising business, which may be based on the user’s geographic location to recommend the nearest offline store.
There will be obvious differences in search results for different categories. The structure and intelligence of search results are also the internal skills that the giants are practicing in this round of upgrading the search.
For a long time, most of the results delivered by various searches are pictures and text. Nowadays, the content of the Internet is undergoing a transition from graphics to video. As the main way of obtaining information, search is gradually becoming video.
Based on this background, Douyin launched an annual video for the Spring Festival this year. From searching for popular science knowledge, travel records, to life experience in the parenting workplace, this video highlights the usage scenarios of Douyin video search.
Video is becoming an important way of human knowledge accumulation, and video search is the index of this encyclopedia. In May 2018, Douyin launched its first search. In the three years since, the monthly activity of Douyin video searches has reached 550 million.
Changes in the form of content have prompted innovations in the way people obtain information. This is the third trend of search upgrades nowadays.
A competition of search capabilities
From communication tools, e-commerce platforms, to short video platforms, this round of transformation for search functions spans different fields, product types, and media forms, but they are essentially doing one thing-strengthening search capabilities .
The giants first optimize content aggregation search based on existing content, and then the platform understands user needs based on these search behaviors in order to provide more accurate services and achieve a positive cycle of search ecology.
In the beginning, “Sou Yi Sou” only provided the function of a finder for WeChat official accounts. Later, users had the need to search official account articles, Moments of Friends, and city services. “Sou Yi Sou” supplemented these functions accordingly. With the gradual prosperity of the applet ecosystem, “Sou Yisou” also supports the search of applet accounts and content.
The three keywords of WeChat Search-scene, algorithm, ecology, seamlessly connect search with all usage scenarios of WeChat. WeChat has a unique ecology, which provides a wealth of content, distinguishes high-quality content and services, and presents them to users.
Coincidentally, other giants have the same idea in terms of search upgrades.
For example, Alibaba, in addition to the search optimization of mobile Taobao on the product side, the main purpose is to focus on intelligent innovation in the direction of information services.
In the era of mobile Internet, users’ search behavior is no longer satisfied with simple information acquisition, but after acquiring information through search, they can get a richer service experience. As a result, even Baidu App upgraded slogan to “Baidu, life is better” in April this year to emphasize the value of services behind search.
The competition in the search market in the future will not be single, but will be refined to more scenarios, which is a competition to meet more specific professional needs and a competition for ecological search capabilities. “Smart tools + content + services” is a new model for searching products in the future.
Since the PC era, after Baidu unified the search for games, the search field in China has been without wars for several years. But this does not mean that people’s search needs have been fully satisfied. In fact, people’s search demand will not die out, it just needs updated technology and ideas to liberate.