Summary of Toutiao’s Ambitions Include Baidu, Weibo and Facebook

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Toutiao, the Chinese news aggregator app, has changed the landscape of media and news reporting. Using artificial intelligence, Toutiao gathers news from around the Internet and recommends content for each user based on personal interests. Basically, users receive endless headlines that appeal to them – which can result in serious cases of news reading addiction. Keep your eyes on this company and its ambitious plans to take on big players like search engine Baidu and microblogging site Weibo. Writing for China’s leading tech media company 36Kr, tech reporter Yan Hao takes a look at Toutiao’s goals and strategies for 2017, offers insight on the company’s past wins and future challenges, and discusses corporate responsibility. getAbstract recommends this article to entrepreneurs, investors, media professionals and those interested in how artificial intelligence is changing traditional industries.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What kind of service the Chinese news aggregator app Toutiao offers, and
  • What to expect from Toutiao in 2017.
 

About the Author

Yan Hao is a staff writer for 36Kr, a leading tech media in China that reports on businesses and start-ups. He focuses on the technology, media and telecom sector as well as the capital investment market.

 

Summary

Toutiao is a Chinese news aggregator app that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to push personalized content to users. As of September 2016, some 63 million of the app’s 580 million users were active users who spent on average more than 73 minutes on the app each day. Between 2014 and 2016, Toutiao’s valuation grew from $500 million to $10 billion. The company shows no signs of slowing down; by the third quarter of 2016, Toutiao had already hit its annual revenue target of 6 billion yuan [$87 million]. Experts predict that Toutiao’s number of employees – 3000 in 2016 – will reach 7000–10,000 in 2017. Since Toutiao’s main source of revenue is digital ad sales, most of these new hires will be salespeople. The company has tasked the sales team – which will make up 70%–80% of Toutiao’s total workforce – to meet the company’s goals of making $10 billion in annual revenue and winning 20% of the digital ad market by 2020, now dominated in China by the Baidu search engine.

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