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‘nice’ App: China’s Answer to Instagram

Launched at the end of 2013, in some ways ‘nice’ can be considered China’s answer to Instagram. However, with over 20 million users, 1.2 million daily active users, and a rapidly increasing fanbase, ‘nice’ is much more than meets the eye.

So what does it do? Well, in their own words, ‘nice’ ‘makes it easy for fans to design good looking images’. Whilst this is certainly true, and the interface is easy to navigate, the addition of tags and stickers all contributes to what is a very complete form of social media. The inclusion of Tinder-like swiping, allowing for users to like others’ photos at the flick of a finger is an incredibly popular feature. Furthermore, implementing direct text messaging between users helps to add to a more personal touch, a feature which is noticeably devoid on Instagram. Its potential has attracted big investors. Having recently received $36 million from Tiger Global Fund and Vy Capital, this will enable the team at ‘nice’ to make that next step – pushing their influence into the European market.

Founders Shou Zhou and Dapeng Cao were educated on a diet of fashion and retail, meaning that early versions of the app were dominated by male shoe-enthusiasts from Beijing. Today however, ‘nice’ is a much more diverse, but unique, photo sharing service which claims to be the first to have introduced a whole raft of different features. According to Product Manager Adam Morley, ‘nice’ “started the visual tagging phenomenon that today you will find on dozens of other apps.” Whether this is true, it’s hard to say, but there is no denying that he and his team have been forerunners in this area. It has a very aesthetically pleasing user experience, and it’s one of the aspects that Chinese netizens treasure dearly.

Many leading brands including Adidas and UNIQLO have been using ‘nice’ as a vehicle for their own campaign promotion. The app allows for interactive communication between followers and the brand. In this way, they are able to interact with their audiences by using KOLs to spread contents about brands, activities and related topics. Brands are also able to set up a campaign page, create stickers or hashtags, and attract audience with incentives to increase engagement. Nike used the platform for their Roshe Run campaign during Shanghai Fashion Week and as a result, over 3,000 new followers were added. This is just one of the many successful examples that ‘nice’ have hosted, but it highlights that market leaders are trusting the app with their own progression.

‘nice’ is certainly making waves in China, and it will be fascinating to see the app progress over the next 12 months. Will it be able to de-throne Instagram? Not in the short term, but they have proved that they have the money and the nous to come up with some awesome new ideas.

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