"Financial" reporter Fang Gongyi Liu Gao Honghao / Wen
The QQ carrying dozens of products, large and small, is like a large ship. In the past year or so, the ship has finally returned to sea level after encountering a huge wave.
According to Tencent's first-quarter financial report in 2018, the number of QQ monthly active accounts reached 805 million, which was a 6.4% decrease from the same period of last year but an increase from 783 million in the previous quarter. Prior to this, QQ experienced four consecutive quarters of decline ——QQQ’s monthly active account number decreased by 9.8% compared to the same period of last year, and approximately 85 million QQ numbers were abandoned by users in this year or not. Again. The number of QQ space monthly active accounts reached 563 million, a decrease of 11.7% over the same period of last year. This huge wave is too fast, even the rich content of QQ, have been beaten by surprise.
In the past era of wasteland, finding strangers to chat was once the mainstream of entertainment. With the emergence of richer and more advanced forms of entertainment, young people are no longer willing to chat with strangers. The habits of users have also changed from "Liaohuo" to "Looking". As a result, they flowed more towards quick hands, shakes, and headlines. These short-lived video and streaming products have grown explosively in 2017 and have taken up a great deal of time. ——Pan Entertainment, like social networking, has become a user's just-needed scenario and spends more time than socializing.
In 2012, when a large number of users flocked to WeChat, QQ pressed all bets on young people. In Tencent's annual financial report in 2017, QQ focused on displaying user data of QQ users under the age of 21 for the first time. The number of monthly active accounts has increased year-on-year and usage time has also increased. QQ is becoming a product increasingly favored by young people.
However, under the ageing society, young people are becoming less and less, and their growth rate cannot keep up with the speed at which QQ native users leave. The majority of QQ people interviewed by the "Finance" reporter believe that the QQ of young people's strategy has been chosen. The reasonable number of QQ users in the future should fall to approximately the same number of young people today. An internal view of the Tencent SNG (Social Network Business Group) is that the sea level at which QQ rebounded may be lower than before.
Do young people like the product ——SNG leader, QQ leader Tang Daosheng introduced QQ. This post-70s leadership checks that 19-year-old products must understand the needs of the most up-to-date young people and must innovate in this series of tens of thousands of companies.
In 2014, Tang Daosheng described the relationship between WeChat and QQ as three directions in an interview with the “Finance” reporter. The business direction, the WeChat main service, and QQ main marketing; 2. From the user relationship On the other hand, WeChat is more adept at deeper and more QQ-wide. 3. In terms of business strategy, WeChat is restrained and conservative, while QQ is rich, diverse, and more radical and open.
Today, the first point involved in the point-to-point service has been divided into the Corporate Business Group (CDG), and QQ's mission has settled on 2 and 3 points.
In recent years, QQ functions have become more and more abundant. From the community's interested tribes to information flow QQ Watch, Now Live, Days of the Trail, QQ Animation, QQ has become a "social + content entertainment" platform for young people (especially Young people) are very sticky. Tencent data shows that during the Spring Festival of 2018, a total of 4.45 billion red packets were sent and received on QQ, accounting for 39% after 00, making it the largest group.
In 2014, Sina Weibo CEO Cao Guowei said in an interview that mobile QQ had taken down its own wall and gave other Internet products a chance. After pursuing youthfulness, users lost to the WeChat circle of friends and Qzone customers. End, Weibo, Momo. Young people are people that few people care about. Adolescents are hard-core bones for Internet entrepreneurs — — A social product entrepreneur tells Caijing that the value of social products depends on users to consume each other, while young people have low consumer value, insufficient ability to pay, and quality of content output. Also low. At the same time, there is still some risk in content supervision, and the platform has a large responsibility.
The use of mobile phones by teenagers is supervised by their parents. The QQ group is a communication tool for primary and secondary schools and becomes a user of course. However, QQ is not only a communication tool, but an entertainment platform, comics, information, video, social networking, one-stop to meet these young people who dare not put too many APPs on mobile phones. The characteristics of this group of young people are the pursuit of personalization, love of expression, and the pursuit of multilingualism that is mainly based on graphic and video. Therefore, simple, tool-based WeChat has never appeared on QQ, such as personalized costumes, complex community functions, gift packages, celebrity shows, mini-games, video special effects, and QQAR red envelopes. From the design of the QQ group, to the QQ show, the signature, without exception, gives the user a personalized, interactive expression space.
However, another era trend is challenging the rejuvenation of QQ. After 00, the classic reason for using QQ is: "Because Mom and Dad and elders are using WeChat. "Once they enter university, most of them will gradually leave QQ because of social work relations." According to internal data obtained by the “Finance” reporter, most young people have shifted from QQ to WeChat since the junior and senior years.
By 2017, the reason for leaving QQ was more & mdash;—the development of diversified Internet communities and products has challenged QQ's previously accumulated advantages——adolescents are a user group with extremely obvious network effects. Once new products are popular, Everyone will come in. A fast-talking product person told the “Finance” reporter that the quick hand initially sprouted on Weibo, and the real outbreak was actually in the QQ space.
Vibrancy, fast-hand popularity is the first step. It is the second step to take the time away. The most QQ feels the crisis may be the pan-entertainment products began to increase social. In order to allow more young people to stay, QQ only uses its understanding of the advantages of young people and does innovative optimization on products.
QQ is an example. This is a QQ built-in news information service. After 95 users reached 70%, it became the second echelon of information flow products that ties in with TengXun news for a year, and even surpassed Tencent’s strategic-level information products daily newsletter. Therefore, In 2017, Tencent Chairman Ma Huateng praised the conference.
From a product design perspective, this is an information product designed specifically for young people. QQ Watch Although the contents of Tencent penguin access, but in the past six months, focus on adjusting the more younger content channels, the introduction of "topic" feature, the short video into the information flow. After optimizing the recommendation of short videos, the video viewing volume increased by 300% year-on-year.
Its operations team is also more inclined to young people's favorite content. In the cold start phase, young users started to watch and see the content flow of entertainment and animation that they are most concerned about, rather than the current political hot spots of other platforms. QQ Watch also encourages the upload of UGC content. In the “dot” function bar, users can see the forwarding links and forwarding phrases of their good friends. They can interact in real time and even introduce some MCN short video content to media content. Combined with the content of the private relationship chain. In addition, QQ is also on the line of young people's favorite custom personalized skin.
The user of QQ is not only after 95. There is also a large proportion of SME office users who transmit 180 million documents a day and some sink social users. For the former, QQ researched and developed 20 million office social software TIM. The team also launched Tencent documents in 2018, retaining the most basic functions of the PC era for the latter. QQ product innovation focuses on meeting the needs of young users. "The research of young people and the analysis of young people are the topics most discussed at our product conference." ” An instant messaging department employee told the "Finance" reporter.
He said that due to the large number of products and decentralization, internal perceptions of the recent increase in QQ's recent data are not large, and it is difficult to attribute it to a product improvement. However, in order to form a trend of bottoming out, we can only dynamically adjust products to stabilize the market. This means that QQ also needs to face many internal innovation challenges.
Innovation in large companies
As a 19-year-old product, QQ can also become a favorite social product for young people. This is proof of its innovative ability.
The main function of the QQ function is to protect the market, but in addition to the broader market, some interested tribes, Now Live, TIM, and DOV have independently become APP products. An employee told the "Finance" reporter that the significance of these independent products is to encourage the team to exercise in the market and maintain innovation.
The first challenge of innovation is how to find stronger product drivers.
Interesting tribes are a typical example. In 2014, the tribal interest was born in the video department and enjoyed the top entrance of the QQ function page, which was in the same level as the QQ space. After going online, it quickly merged the WeChat public number micro-community and became an independent APP.
When Baidu Post Bar, Watercress APP and other similar products went offline and data fell, interest tribes completed the three-step relationship chain precipitation from QQ friends, group chats, and communities. After two months of operation, there are nearly 20 million tribal fans and they have commented on more than 100,000 topics every day.
From 2016, interest tribe APP data has also begun to slide. In the same period, communities such as tigers, connotations, and right-most vertical populations have ushered in higher data growth. In the first half of 2017, after three years of operation, interested tribes were called into the Now Live Video Product Division and merged into the instant messaging department, which plunged to a low ebb. According to internal data, the interested tribe is tens of millions in QQ, but the independent APP is currently a million-level daily live product. A staff member from the instant messaging department analyzed Caijing reporters that this product may not understand young people and do not understand operations.
In the eyes of some users, interested tribes do not have a healthy fan system to encourage users to post messages. Many topics are full of childish and messy content. In fact, the products and operations may only be superficial. The flow path dependence and the underlying product mechanism are the more essential reasons. "KPI pressure is relatively large, and it may be simpler to introduce diversion through the inlet. ” A former SNG employee told the "Finance" reporter. However, in the mobile era, channels have become more diverse, and users have chosen more dollars. The advantages of the conversion rate of diversion have been weakened.
In the PC era, QQ, with its huge traffic entrance, used Tencent and other diversion methods to support a series of products such as Weibo and Tencent News. This is a relatively common growth method on QQ. The interests of tribes, watch points, live broadcasts, and sundial functions all occupy more than two levels of diversion entrances. From the results, there will be a certain increase in short-term single-function data, but in the long-term it may be to turn left-handed traffic, which may not be effective for the broader market.
Product improvement, resource integration, and team exploration capabilities are the more critical factors.
Innovation Challenges 2. Strong innovative products require high-level leadership and cooperation when it comes to inter-departmental resource allocation.
Compared to operations and algorithms, the reason why the outside world more quickly saw QQ's point-of-sight behavior boils down to: occupying the primary entrance in the dialog box. There is also a factor that cannot be ignored. Tang Daosheng personally promoted the linking of resources across multiple business groups, including Tencent News, WeChat Public Account, QQ Music MV, and animation resources.
Under the Tencent existing structure, the business groups formed a separate ecology, with obstacles such as department walls, account system walls, data walls, and resource walls. Therefore, the innovations led by the senior leaders can promote cross-border cooperation and be more successful. may.
"On the other hand, if the product is not good or not, it will be useless to give more resources. Internally, it encourages market-oriented matching of resources." ” A SNG employee told the "Finance" reporter.
The third challenge of innovation comes from the team itself.
QQ, as a product with many entrances and large spaces, gives the team more space for micro-innovation. Once large product ideas and direction adjustments are involved, the ultimate decision of the highest responsible person is still required, and product changes led by the top down are more insurance. QQ is a product that pursues youthfulness, but it is also a mature product led by the veteran leadership of the Internet. This means that the team wants to innovate independently and the bottom-up persuasion costs more.
Prior to the reopening of microvision, name-taking had caused a wave of discussions internally. In the end, the senior management set the old name of the same era as those of “Weibo” and “WeChat”. "In many cases, subordinates will think what the boss will accept, not what the team really wants. "An employee close to the microvision team told the "Finance" reporter.
But at the same time, in many product micro-innovations, the team has the freedom to determine the space.
"If it is not a strategic adjustment, the once-weekly general meeting will put forward a solution. Even at the director meeting several times a week, it will be able to solve the demand and respond quickly." "An employee told the "Finance" reporter. SNG is relatively flat internally, and the director leads the product, which is the general manager, vice president and president.
QQ has "Tencent Experimental Field" statement. "Imperial Field"'s formulation, the earliest from an interview with Ma in 2013, "you have two large social networks (WeChat, QQ). With a new idea, there can be one more experimental field, and depending on different qualities, it is not necessary to put all in one basket. ”
This means that QQ is more space than Wechat and is suitable for product testing. Effective functions can be ported to WeChat.
This statement is established within the SNG. QQ is one of the products that Tencent enjoys the highest level of innovation. Wechat's closed relationship chain and stronger tool attributes are shown to be restrained in products, while QQ is significantly more open and willing to try out new features.
Compared to the WeChat single-digit portal, QQ is a test treasure. In many secondary or re-entry portals, a new online function may be hidden. There is a team of more than a dozen people behind and is testing new feature data.
Return flow engine
In March 2018, some users opened the mobile phone QQ, and they would see an additional "Friends" called "Microvision" in the contact bar. This is the first wave of Tencent's short video product after a high-profile restart. The Caijing reporter learned that the previous version of Microvision was under the responsibility of the original Tencent Weibo team of the OMG (Online Media Business Group) department. This time, the task fell on the QQ space team.
A Tencent SNG person told the “Finance” reporter that this marked the return of Liang Zhu to SNG. Liang Zhu, the person in charge of micro vision, once incubated the karaoke singing software in the QQ space. The success of the national K song proved the ability of the QQ space team to find new ways to innovate products. This product was selected together with King Glory in 2017 Teng Xun's "Mingpin Hall." Afterwards, all K songs were returned to the QQ Music Department.
In the second half of 2017, Microvision revived and in March 2018, Microvision began to increase its operations.
"The users of QQ space are mainly young people, and data decline is an inevitable trend. However, the team is very knowledgeable about social networking and can make interesting products. This may be the reason why Liang Zhu led the QQ space to take charge of microvision. ” An insider close to the QQ space told the "Finance" reporter.
After the closure of microviews in April 2017, Tencent invested fast, QQ was gradually launched after reading and burning the "days" and independent APP products "DOV", hoping to use short video tools to incite social and community; however Chattering took another route and quickly became popular with product tool iterations and content operations.
In Tencent's "social + content," the main business field, today's headline challenger has emerged. Headlines and other companies have stepped up to Tencent’s main business, stimulating the old product of QQ and re-entering the battle.
This challenge is a comprehensive test of QQ capabilities. On the one hand, the QQ space team led products; on the other hand, the short video portal was also handed over to QQ. Compared to WeChat's "productive" product concept, QQ is more open to short video formats and content.
According to the “Finance” reporter, Yin Yu, the vice president of Tencent and the person in charge of the instant messaging line, has become the co-leader of Microvision and led the team together with Liang Zhu. Sending Yin Yu is hoping that the resources and accumulation of QQ can assist the growth of microvision. However, at the end of April, QQ had planned to go online with a short video portal to collect "micro-vision" and "lucky" and named "Micro Video." As of this writing, this change has not been completed. “Micro video entry name was later rejected. The possible reason is that the location of the entrance and the resources are still considered. ” The above SNG internal staff told the "Financial" reporter.
This is reflected in the confusion of QQ as an innovative product in traffic configuration. QQ has a lot of traffic, but the market is attenuating and the traffic configuration of the product is more cautious.
According to statistics from QuestMobile, in March this year, the proportion of total mobile phone industry segments in the domestic mobile Internet segment accounted for 32.2% of instant messaging, which was a 4.8% year-on-year decline, and the largest increase was as high as 521.8% in the short video domain. E-commerce has grown. In this context, the functional tilt of the broader market has become a key issue.
"In 2018, the company more and more hopes that QQ can drive growth through short video and information. "The above employees told the "Financial" reporter. QQ wants to capture young users who are curious and willing to try anything through various scenarios and content. We must not only grasp the special needs of young people, carry the vertical market through existing platforms, but also ensure the stability of the flow of the broader market, and stabilize the position of the younger flow engines.
In addition, each function of QQ is looking for a local optimal solution. The above SNG personage told Caijing reporters that QQ has a large number of product function modules, each of which has its own KPI from small group tools to individual sub-functions. As a market-determined product, such kpi management is different from headline —— being in the development period, focusing on the growth of the broader market, and is also different from WeChat —— driven by Zhang Xiaolong as a large product manager.
However, how local optimism brings about overall growth is a black box problem. Therefore, in the process of bottoming out, QQ's traffic configuration encountered the first challenge, how to integrate the development requirements of "short video" and "information" into the growth of the broader market.
Once Tencent was very vigilant about changes in the outside world, iterated through small steps, and now the company and the team are large, the decision cycle and response time are longer, and even the willingness to incubate products has become smaller. This is one of the reasons why Tencent missed the short video.
Under the ageing trend, young people are destined to become less and less, and it seems that the decline of QQ data is an inevitable trend. However, in order to maintain retention in the fall, or even rebound, and maintain the retention of young people, QQ is facing greater pressure. Before that, we must solve many problems such as traffic distribution, internal innovation, and improvement of the team.
The increasing personal needs of young people may give QQ more incentives to adjust. "Land now seems to have found the feeling of previous snoring, and the agility and combat effectiveness of the team have emerged. ” The above SNG employees told Caijing reporters.