China Focus: Knowledge-sharing more popular on short video platforms
ZHENGZHOU, July 24 (Xinhua) -- In a video less than a minute long, people wearing masks acted out a psychological concept in a little play about an angel, a landlord and a farmer.
The moral is to look beyond what things appear to be. The clip which is on China's popular short video platform Douyin, also known as TikTok, attracted nearly 2.2 million likes, and Human Observatory, the account that posted it, gained over 800,000 followers in a few days.
Short video platforms such as TikTok have increasingly become places for sharing knowledge as more bloggers post informative yet entertaining clips.
"We have been running this account for less than a year," said Li Nan, who heads the operation team for Human Observatory. "It is only recently that we have seen a rapid growth of followers."
Members of Li's team are not fixed and currently, there are less than five of them. However, the account now boasts nearly 6 million followers.
Since this year, knowledge sharing videos have become more popular on Douyin. According to ByteDance, Douyin's parent company, the creators of science popularization content with over 10,000 followers on the platform surged 767 percent in the first six months. They posted more than 1.3 million clips which have been viewed nearly 168 billion times.
Earth Village Guide, an account for sharing knowledge about astronomy, gained over 9 million followers; Modern Nature, which shares knowledge about nature, has over 2 million followers; and Ma Weidu, a famous Chinese collector, attracted over 5 million followers by talking about ancient artifacts.
On Kuaishou, another short video platform, over 3.6 million popular science videos were posted in 2018, gaining 8 billion views and 15 billion likes, according to a joint study by the platform and the China Research Institute for Science Popularization.
"Short videos bridge the gap between common people and science and technology. It makes knowledge more vivid and approachable," said Kuang Yanyun, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
"Many people know from the videos that science and technology are everywhere in our lives," Kuang said.
Some bloggers think it meets many people's innermost desires such as curiosity.
"I think my videos are popular because they stimulate the curiosity and loneliness that we once had in childhood and lost when we grew up," said Pan Yabo, who runs a mystery-exploring account.
Pan's most popular video is about a signal that points to the possibility of an alien civilization.
"It is very satisfying for me to share knowledge about the universe and possible alien culture," Pan said. "In the past, people often disregard these as unrealistic, but now more people are paying attention."
Some attribute the popularity of these clips to the improving standards that people have of short videos.
"Early on, most of the videos on these platforms are bloggers dancing to music, and people may get bored from watching too many clips of the same category," said Li Naiyu, a member of the Human Observatory team.
"Now as people have more contact with short videos, they wish to see more that interests them and something deep and 'useful,'" Li said.