Chinadaily / [LIANG LUWEN/FOR CHINA DAILY] Mini clips, often featuring everyday activities, are making internet stars of young people who share their daily experiences

Digital platforms are thriving in China and now the “vlog” – a short video focusing on self-expression – has burst onto the scene, rapidly gaining popularity among young people.

The concept of the vlog, or video blog, is to shoot a short video rather than write an article or take pictures, to express feelings and share experiences. It’s a type of blog but the medium is video.

It is a casual, conversational format featuring a person talking directly and intimately to the camera in a raw and unfiltered way.

The lives shown in vloggers’ videos differ from celebrities and internet stars. They give a frank and unmodified insight into their daily routines, such as eating, reading and traveling, and their viewers seem to be suitably impressed.

Since the end of 2016, short videos, often lasting less than 60 seconds, have dominated mobile screens in China and several video sharing apps are gaining popularity.

Chinese internet research company Quest Mobile estimated in a report that more than 410 million people became short video app users last year.

According to Baidu Index, a keyboard research tool, searches for vlogs have been on the rise since 2017.

A “hot topic” location for vlogs, created last year by vlogger Sun Dongshan on Sina Weibo, a Twitter-like social site, has attracted an audience of more than 280 million.

A post-graduate student from Taiwan, nicknamed Si Ling, loves to shoot videos and share them on the internet. She is famous for a video about her trip to Guanghe county of Northwest China’s Gansu province. It was shown on the WeChat official account of People’s Daily and attracted more than 10 million views.

A photographer, with an online nickname as Zhu Zi, consecutively shared 28 vlogs with average views of more than 2 million in a vlogging challenge for 31 days last summer. The 29th, which summarized the last three days of her daily life, attracted more than 7 million views.

As Chinese consumers’ tastes become increasingly diverse, video content with a strong individual voice has become more and more popular.

Credited by some as being an escape valve to ease social pressure, vlogs seem to cater to many people’s psychological needs, satisfying a desire among “post-’95” generation youngsters for individuality and self-expression, as well as feeding their curiosity.

Sun says the younger generation in China is more open and has a desire to share and express, and the vlog is fulfilling the need.

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