SHANGHAI, Dec. 21, 2020
SHANGHAI, Dec. 21, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- 36Kr, member of the top-rank Chinese Internet media, recently held the WISE 2020 New Economy Kings Conference with the theme "The Reign of the New Economy Kings". During the conference, topics including urban evolution, long-term value, industrial innovation, and supply chain collaboration were discussed. WISE 2020 has also released their New Economy Kings List of the top ten companies. As a representative of new social media and a company beloved by Gen Z users, Soul App was selected to be the most influential company in the new entertainment and media industry. In describing the changes occurring in social media over the past decade, SOUL believes Gen Z is driving the rapid rise of new social media trends.
In China, some social platforms satisfy the consumers' demand to bring offline relationships among people who already know each other to an online platform. Most of the social products that have emerged in recent years, however, have been for users to develop online relationships and then take them offline. Therefore most social networking products in China are essentially tied to offline demands because they follow the social habits of early Internet users who are older in average. These users' main demands for online social products are still tied to their offline lives.
But for the younger Gen Z crowd, the Internet is no longer just a supplement to real life, but rather another dimension parallel to real life and of equal importance. According to a study by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, in 2018 the average age of young Chinese users accessing the Internet dropped to 6-10 years old. Additionally, the Internet environment for Gen Z offers diverse information including massive cultural contents. After the contents being shared primarily, there is still a demand for a second round of sharing. Social networking is one of the most important applications meeting this demand. Compared with social networking with simple functions, Gen Z users prefer more meaningful online social connections to bring them a sense of community and belonging. But these are not what previous social products are good at.
Zhang Lu, the founder of Soul App, explained that her goal was to develop a product for users to publish contents, pressure-free, anytime, anywhere that can receive quick responses. On SOUL, there are two ways to do this. Users can publish contents on "Explore" , a public space for sharing thoughts and moments; or they can be directly matched for a one-on-one chat. For either option, the underlying logic is that all the contents and matches are based on the users' interests, personality, previous choices and other meaningful characteristics.
In the matching process, SOUL's platform adopts methods to stop any interference that may come from the user's appearance. For example, the system does not support actual user photos. SOUL also uses a decentralized content distribution mechanism that balances popularity and matching influences, so that everyone's contents can be fairly viewed and shared with reduced interference on traffic distribution for users and their posts.
As a gathering place for Gen Z users, SOUL's social atmosphere emphasizes networking and communities. With free information flow and chat matching, users with similar interests and cultural preferences gradually converge into communities and networking groups that engage with each other in inspiring and passionate discussions on various topics.
On SOUL, users can tag their posted contents to define their topics of interested and enable their contents to reach others with the same interests and hobbies, including music, literature, history, movies and games, all hot topics on SOUL. SOUL places an importance on discovering users' preferences in their browsed contents, comments, chats, and searches to promote people and contents that may be interesting to users. With in-depth application of big data and AI technology, SOUL is continuously improving speed and accuracy in matching.
Looking to the future, SOUL hopes to expand social relationships into a network based on meaningful socializing. Starting from the community and individual networks, the app plans to further foster a user's sense of affiliation within the entire platform and ultimately build a platform that offers users a sense of identity. From an industry perspective, as SOUL continues to explore and respond to young users' demand for meaningful connections, new opportunities for growing value in the Gen Z social arena continue to emerge and there will be boundless space for innovation in the future.