Bytedance launched external search option in its news platform, Jinri Toutiao. It is an update on the previous search option.
Now Jinri Toutiaos users can access to content outside of the app using the built-in search bar. It marks result from the websites outside of the app with an “external” sign next to the name of the website.
Toutiao itself is installed on over 240 million monthly unique devices, which makes it a top news aggregator in China, according to data analytics firm iResearch. TikTok and Douyin collectively command 500 million monthly active users around the world, while Musical.ly has a userbase of 100 million, the company previously announced.
The new search feature for sure puts Bytedance in direct competition with Baidu, which has dominated the search engine area since google left the country back in 2010. Since Baidu is already facing consumer criticism due to promoting low quality content, Jinri Toutiao could become a strong competitor, although it is still in early stages.
Despite losing USD 1.8 million following the release of Tiktok, Bytedance is not afraid to expand overseas. In fact the company has created a subsidiary called Lark technologies located in Silicon Valley. Bytedance is already a dangerous competitor for its fellow giants at home and now it plans to take the competition abroad.
With the revenue tripling to around USD 7.2 billion last year, it is coming close to the likes of Facebook, but Bytedance will have to be careful since just last week Tiktok was fined USD 5.7 million for illegally collecting data from minors.
Though it is still in the testing phase, the new search function could leverage user data Bytedance has at hand and help the company further monetize Jinri Toutiao’s traffic by redirecting users to sponsored results in the app.