Bytedance thins overseas apps further with closure of video app Vigo

By Wei Sheng

Bytedance is taking down its video-sharing app Vigo in India, the Tiktok owner said Monday, the second overseas app the company has closed in a month.

Why it matters: With Vigo’s closure just a few days after the company announced that it is phasing out news aggregator Topbuzz, Bytedance is actively narrowing its product line overseas to focus on hugely successful short video app Tiktok.

  • Vigo is a video-sharing app that allows users to create lip-syncing clips and interact with other video makers. The app had around 5.5 million monthly active users in India, their biggest market, as of May, according to Techcrunch.
  • Meanwhile, Tiktok, the company’s flagship video app, has around 200 million monthly active users in India.

Details: Vigo has already ceased operations in Brazil and the Middle East and will shut down in India by October 31, according to a company statement on Monday.

  • A Bytedance spokesperson said the app will eventually stop operations in all countries.
  • Current users of Vigo can export their content to Tiktok, which the company said will provide “a seamless experience.” Users can also choose to download their personal data or delete their accounts permanently, said the statement.
  • The company said it is shutting down Vigo in order to “focus energy and resources on other businesses.”
  • The app was still available on Google’s Play Store and Apple’s App Store as of Monday.

Context: Vigo was rebranded from Flipagram, a US video-sharing app Bytedance acquired in early 2017.

  • Bytedance rolled out a China version of Vigo, called Huoshan, shortly after acquiring Flipagram. It remains one of the most popular video apps in China.
  • Bytedance is known for a shotgun approach to product development. It’s comfortable with experiments, and unsentimental about trimming underperforming apps.
  • On June 5, Bytedance said it is halting updates to news aggregator app Topbuzz and will gradually stop operations of the app.

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