Zhang Chaoyangs assumption that fox friends are bars involved in social interaction can make Sohu revive

 Zhang Chaoyangs assumption that fox friends are bars involved in social interaction can make Sohu revive

Its a gamble. Faced with nearly 1.1 billion micro-blogs and nearly 500 million micro-blogs of MAU, Zhang Chaoyang believes that new products can still be squeezed out between micro-blogs and micro-blogs. If Weibo is a speech square and Weixin is a private salon, what Zhang Chaoyang wants to do is a bar.

Zhang Chaoyang

Sohu News, Sohu Video is the present of Sohu, Fox Friends is the future of Sohu.

This time, Sohu Chairman Zhang Chaoyang finally made up his mind to use social networking as the key to the companys revival, but he told reporters, Users will give us new ideas about the future direction of products.

On June 9, Zhang Chaoyang announced that he would prepare for the launch of the official version of Fox Friends, a social network application for nearly five years and one year. In official propaganda, Zhang Chaoyang will be the product manager of the application, which means that he will be deeply involved in product design. In reality, he recommends the product to everyone he meets, and asks the other party to reduce questions and use and experience it more.

After the press conference, Zhang Chaoyang told reporters in an interview, We have done a lot of social products in history. In the early stage, we mainly followed the trend. Later, there were some innovations, but we considered the function rather than building the community. There are many traps in it. In version 3.0, Zhang Chaoyang formalized the product because of the timing, but for what the timing is, Zhang Chaoyang summarized it as ready in design, function, concept and performance.

On January 15 this year, Wang Xin, the founder of tremolo, hammer technology and the original company, launched three new products, multi-flash, chat Bao and toilet MT simultaneously, declaring war on Wechat from different dimensions such as video social networking, social monetization and anonymous social networking. Five months later, however, none of the three products seemed to have any ups and downs.

And Sohu, who has been missing out on social networking, is really ready? Sohus quarterly report on April 29 was slightly tired. At this time, can fox friends who have entered the social sphere survive in the crack between Weixin and Weibo?

Zhang Chaoyang: New products can be squeezed out between Weixin and Weibo

Its a gamble. Faced with nearly 1.1 billion micro-blogs and nearly 500 million micro-blogs of MAU, Zhang Chaoyang believes that new products can still be squeezed out between micro-blogs and micro-blogs. If Weibo is a speech square and Weixin is a private salon, what Zhang Chaoyang wants to do is a bar.

Zhang Chaoyang said that the people who enter the bar are various, and users can naturally know each other, rather than being recommended by machines. At the same time, users can decide who they care about and who they dont care about, and be respected in the content of the timeline, rather than being inserted by the enterprise. But how to build users from 0 to 1? Its kind of like making an atomic bomb. If it fissions, it explodes without advertising, he said.

Faced with the question of how to locate fox friends, Zhang Chaoyang answered that it was acquaintance socialization.

But then he said he wanted users to interact and change from strangers to acquaintances. He also said that he had long known that the Internet should be a one-to-many relationship, and he was forced to do this one-to-many relationship as a portal.

However, in front of Tencent, a social empire with a total market value of 2.9 trillion yuan, any company that wants to dig up a piece of cake crumb in the Chinese market should measure its own differential value geometry. Up to the time of press release, with the help of the positioning of the speech square, the market value of microblog was 66.1 billion yuan, while that of strangers and friends was 43.9 billion yuan, 2.2% and 1.5% of the market value of Tencent respectively. From the product form, these two kinds of products have very essential differences with Tencent QQ and Wechat.

As far as Tencent itself is concerned, it has also completed its coverage of social products in the past few years. In 2014, Tencent launched its social product Interest Tribe, its last release of a new form of social product. A staff member of Tencents instant messaging department once told reporters that this filled Tencents social gap, that is, a business module similar to Baidu Tieba. At present, Tencents QQ and Wechat undertake one-to-one communication, group is one-to-many, QQ space is SNS type, and Tencent has been lack of discussion communities like post bar.

Unlike Tencent, most other Internet vendors choose one form or several forms of products. Weibo was born in blog in 2009. In 2011, strangers established a new platform for making friends with strangers based on geographical location, and provided display functions in the form of video, text, voice and pictures. In February 2018, Momo acquired another stranger dating platform to explore, which provides a left-right sliding method to choose friends.

From the product form of Fox Friends, just as Zhang Chaoyang gave the positioning, the function of Fox Friends is based on user dynamics, and can communicate with friends who pay attention to each other through private letter. In this product, photo albums and mutual attention are paid special attention, and there are separate areas in the user interface. Zhang Chaoyang told reporters that, unlike other products, Fox Friends do not talk about recommendation logic, and strictly follow the users timeline, do not do superfluous actions, and do not participate in the topic hype.

In terms of security, Zhang Chaoyang stressed that Fox friends do not support users to download photos, and the uploaders themselves must not download them. He said, This is for users who want to see content will be Fox friends. In addition to calling fox friends between Weixin and Weibo, in terms of security, he thinks fox friends are between Weixin acquaintances and strangers, because they give users the ability to protect privacy, such as not paying attention to each other, they can only send 10 private messages a month.

In this regard, Xu Zhibin, CEO of Visual Science and Technology, told reporters that from Fox Friendscurrent version experience, it may be biased towards social interest in market opportunities. However, the new version of the function is relatively simple, there is no particularly obvious product module out, it is difficult to see a very clear development line, users will be under greater pressure to quickly add new demands.

A product manager of an Internet company told reporters that as a product manager, we should pay more attention to driving force, exposure form, key points of relationship and interactive form, but these are not seen in Zhang Chaoyangs positioning answer to the product.

Why socialize again at this time? Zhang Chaoyang: Social networking is an exponential growth business

Since the acquisition of Alumni Directory ChinaRen in September 2000, Zhang Chaoyang has been a social platform for young people. Sohu has published a broad range of social platforms including Sohu Blog and Sohu Weibo. In 2009, Sohu also launched the White Society product in the form of SNS (social network). In addition, the App Store can also query many products that Sohu has never publicly released before.

The reporter inquired about the App Store and found that most of the productsversion history records showed that most of them stopped updating four or five years ago. These products include photo albums, communities, photo notes, etc. Because Sohu hasnt iterated on it for a long time, Apple even reminds downloaders that these products need to be updated by developers to run under the latest version of the operating system.

Under the application of Sohu Weibo, which stopped updating five years ago, a netizen commented that as a responsible enterprise, it should at least send a message of peace of mind before closing down, and never ignore it as it is now. The product has a full score of 1.5 under the condition of 5 points. Several users indicated that they wanted to backup the content.

Zhang Chaoyang told reporters that Fox Friends is a brand new application, and did not inherit the content and social relationship chain of Sohus previous social products. In his description, Fox Friends idea was born in 2015, the earliest Sohu News Client mine is a toolbox function to help users to set up various settings. But then it found that users lacked social intentions to open news clients, so in 2016 they changed mine into fox friend and in 2017 they operated independently.

Moreover, in 2018, Sohu reprogrammed Fox Friends and conducted a lot of tests. The reason for this rush is that Zhang Chaoyang does not want to miss the next leap. In his view, the emergence of people is the first leap in the process of BBS to blog, while the concept of attention generated by blog to Facebook and Twitter is the second leap. But for Sohus next step, he thought there were more than 100 reasons, but refused to disclose them on the grounds of trade secrets.

Zhang Chaoyang has divided the entire Internet industry into two hemispheres, namely content distribution and e-commerce. Whether its a search engine, a classified navigation, or a portal, its a way for people to find information, but social networks will increase the chances of text, pictures and videos, as well as the efficiency of distribution. In this respect (Sohu) repeated battles and defeats, is my previous involvement in the product is not deep enough. Zhang Chaoyang told reporters.

At present, Fox Friends mainly pursue simplicity, because Sohu failed to build functions in history. This is a logic that product managers think users need, and any of these functions is interference to users. Zhang Chaoyang and his team have observed a number of social products and studied them for several rounds.

At present, it seems that it is not a good time to enter the social network. Wang Xin, byte beating Zhang Yiming and Hammer Atomic Technology Luo Yonghao, the three founders, have broken down their social products one after another. In February 2019, Quest Mobile released a social report that showed that while mobile social usage still accounted for the highest proportion, it fell to 32.8% compared with the same period last year.

Zhang Chaoyang believes that news and information are growing linearly, but social networks are growing exponentially, and to do a good job of social networks is to do a good job of the Internet. As early as 2016, he had proposed that Sohu should return to the Internet Center within three years. However, he also admitted that many companies have fallen, Sohu this time investment is very cautious.

No KPI Hard Assessment for Puzzling Input

Before the official version came online, Fox Friends had always been the name of Sohu National School Grass and School Flower Competition. After Zhang Chaoyang returned to the companys daily management, the competition was launched in order to save the high cost of purchasing film and television works. The only purpose is to reduce the cost of self-made dramas by selecting and signing their own shows, and self-made dramas themselves can replace the high cost of purchasing film and television works.

In April 2019, the first sea election of the Fox Friends National School Grass Competition in 2019 was held at Sohu Headquarters. More than a dozen college students are divided into a group, a total of more than ten groups of nearly 300 people compete. Before being judged by the judges, Zhang Chaoyang asked everyone a common question, that is, how they felt about using fox friends. The answer to this question, personal quality and ability, and whether to sign up with other companies have become the key to the next round of candidates for grass-roots schools.

A contestant told reporters that before that, he did not know Fox Friends, but in order to compete, he published intensive messages, typed keywords, and @ staff of other contestants and organizers, in order to get the chance of forwarding and exposing. In the question-and-answer session, he did not give a brilliant answer, and finally stopped the first round. After the game, he told reporters that he added friends he knew on Fox Friends to Wechat, and Fox Friends fixed a frame in a photo he took on the day of the game.

A student from Beijing University of Finance and Economics told reporters that he had never heard of Fox Friends. The basic software used in daily life includes Weixin, Weibo and Douban. A college graduate in 2019 told reporters that he had not even heard of Fox Friends and had no one around him to use them.

This has not affected Sohu to invest a lot of resources in campus promotion, because the student group is regarded as one of Fox Friendsimportant source of seed users. During the school grass contest, Sohu also posted a position on the Internet about the business manager of the social product center market, with a monthly salary of up to 20,000 yuan. The first responsibility of this position is responsible for the planning of campus activities, business cooperation, Laxin and daily KPI of Sohu social application.

However, in an interview, Zhang Chaoyang denied the existence of KPI. Zhang Chaoyang said that one of the pitfalls of social applications in the past was to pursue KPI and not retain users. Moreover, the words KPI did not appear in the official interview records.

Sohu officials and Zhang Chaoyang did not disclose how much real gold and silver fox friends had invested. However, Sohu shares soared to $18.48, or more than 20%, at the close of the U.S. stock market on April 30, Beijing time. One of the reasons behind this is that Changyou, its subsidiary, announced a one-time dividend, which would increase Sohus revenue by $337 million, and Sohu decided not to distribute any dividends to shareholders.

Alex Yoon, an analyst at Morgan Stanley, said the dividend was an operation to compensate for Sohus loss because Sohu owns 68% of Changyou. On the same day, Sohu released its first quarter of 2019 results, showing that its total revenue is still declining, the quarter fell 5% year-on-year, 11% annually. Since the second half of 2018, Sohu has seen a new round of negative growth, which even led to its total revenue in 2018 almost equal to that in 2017, and a net loss of $237 million.

Zhang Chaoyang responded to the above one-time dividend income in a conference call with analysts after the financial report was released. He said that the whole group is still losing money and burning money. It needs to invest in Sohu news, channels, products and technology development. Of course, there are also video businesses, which need a lot of money.

Although there is no mention of Fox Friends, a Sohu internal staff told reporters that the Fox Friends team is still attached to the social products center of Sohu Media, a Sohu subsidiary.

The number of poor fox users is equal without V authentication

However, one of Fox Friendsdilemmas is that the strategy of the product itself is also wavering, even Zhang Chaoyang has no definite answer.

In an interview, Zhang Chaoyang categorically said that unlike Weibo Big V, it will not authenticate users because fox friends are equal. He calls the product experience wonderful when the number of users paying attention to each other has increased to a certain extent. But the reporter browses the product to discover, Sohu Video account has already appeared V sign with blue background and white character, and its note is Fox Friends Official Authentication Agency. In the search user interface, the user recommended by the software is the opinion leader in the relevant field.

At the same time, Zhang Chaoyang denied playing his usual star card strategy. At the aforementioned conference, female star Liu Yan was present. Zhang Chaoyang explained that the reason why she was invited to attend was that she was the real user of Fox Friends. However, the reporter found that Liu Yans content on micro-blog is more abundant than Fox Friends, and part of the content on Fox Friends release time lags behind.

In fact, in the user registration process, Fox Friends also left room for stars to reside. Zhang Chaoyang admitted that ordinary users could not choose the star name as their ID.

Many-to-many social network has always been Zhang Chaoyangs dream, but at present, Fox Friends are more in line with Zhang Chaoyangs overall cost-saving strategy for Sohu Group. He said that Sohus business model in advertising, games and other aspects is very clear, and now needs a viscous platform to gather users here. But heavy investment in content or from channels can not go to profit, and the most cost-effective model is to create an important demand, people come here every day.

Not only fox friends, Sohu will also integrate video content. Zhang Chaoyang said that next month, Sohu video version updates will be released, introducing live broadcasting technology at the same time, to provide UGC (user contribution content) for Sohu video lay the foundation. Before that, Sohu replaced procurement with homemade dramas, expecting to reduce costs and reverse losses.

Zhang Chaoyang did not give a positive answer to the number of fox users, but told reporters that almost every registered fox user would pay attention to him. Reporters browsed Zhang Chaoyangs fox friends. Up to the time of submission, the number of fans showed in the interface was 2.526 million. For user sources, Zhang Chaoyang calls it the return of young people represented by students and users of early products such as Sohu Blog.

In the first quarter of 2019, Sohus online advertising revenue as a whole remained the same as in 2018, but brand advertising revenue was affected by portal and video business, which declined by 24% year on year. Because of the natural attenuation of old games such as Tianlong Babu Tour and the absence of new works to obtain edition number, its game business revenue declined by 6% year on year.

Liu Jun Corrected by Xu Chao, Editor of Liang Chen, Reporter of New Beijing News

Source: New Beijing Daily Responsible Editor: Yao Liwei_NT6056