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China now has 873m people watching short-form videos

Earlier this month, the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) released one of its regular and wide-ranging reports on the development of China’s internet network, and the ways its “netizens” use it.

The official Chinese government report runs to 129 pages, with some interesting insights into what’s happening online in China. A download link to the full report, including a summary is available here, in Chinese.

All the data is measured until December 2020, and includes some top-line statistics that serve as a useful reminder of the vast scale of online life in China.

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Snap acquires music-focused short-video app Voisey

Snapchat’s music ambitions just took another significant step forward, with parent company Snap seemingly having acquired startup Voisey, whose app is used to create and share original music videos.

We say ‘seemingly’ because neither company has yet commented, but the news – broken by Business Insider then followed up by TechCrunch – isn’t in doubt. Voisey’s four co-founders resigned as directors last month, replaced by two Snap executives, and the company’s official address is now Snap’s London office.

The news comes just three months after Snap announced music licensing deals with Warner Music Group, Warner Chappell, Universal Music Publishing, Merlin and a number of members of US publishing body the NMPA, and started testing a new feature letting people add music to their Snapchat posts.

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Instagram redesigns its homescreen with Reels to the fore

Instagram started testing its TikTok-style ‘Reels’ feature in late 2019, before rolling it out globally in August this year.

Now the feature is getting a big boost in Instagram’s latest redesign of its homescreen, with a dedicated tab rather than simply showing Reels content in the app’s ‘Explore’ screen.

For artists who are using Reels, this should help their short videos reach even more viewers – and it may nudge those who haven’t yet tried it to experiment.