TikTok has a new competitor: Zynn, an almost button-by-button clone from TikTok, which is characterized by an important twist: It is worth registering, watching videos and convincing others to follow this example. The app was launched in early May. As Mashable noted, she is now number one in the free apps on Apple's app store and also in the top 10 in Google's play store.
Zynn is completely a TikTok clone. The core surface is identical and both are designed to watch short videos in portrait format. The big difference is a countdown timer with a dollar sign in the middle that hovers over each video on Zynn. When watching videos, the timer fills up and gives you points that you should be able to redeem later as cash or a gift card. I haven't tested if this works, but some people have posted YouTube videos showing proof of payment.
Zynn is offering money to sign up more users.
The goal is to generate more advertising revenue than Zynn pays to users
Despite everything, the app never came out of nowhere. As The Information reported yesterday, Zynn is expanding a rivalry with video apps in China. Zynn's creator Kuaishou is a well-funded startup that runs one of the largest video apps in the country. The app is second only to Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok. According to the report, Kuaishou used the same technique to pay viewers to grow in China. The company ultimately makes money selling ads, as long as it makes more money than it pays. (Zynn is not currently serving ads in the United States.)
Kuaishou recently received a $ 2 billion investment from Tencent, the Chinese technology giant behind WeChat. The information reported in December that the investment should help Tencent "mitigate the ByteDance threat" that defines TikTok and Douyin. Kuaishou's expansion into the United States appears to be an extension of this goal as the company follows the same strategy to take on byte dance and find a place in the market.
Left: Zynn. Right: TikTok.
Zynn seems to have grown so quickly for several reasons. Of course, paying users have to watch videos (I was able to earn $ 0.12 by watching videos for a few minutes). However, the app also has a referral scheme that pays users for others to sign up and use the service themselves. This has probably made a major contribution to the spread of the service. A large banner in the app promises $ 110 if you can get five people to sign up (with the fine print that the most money will only arrive if the people you recommend continue to use the app regularly). The service has also been pre-populated with videos as the app can access content from Kuaishou. The information reports that Zynn's videos are currently "mainly" from Kuaishou.
As with TikTok, the app allows you to watch a video the first time you open a video. However, if you want to earn rewards, you'll need to sign up. And to sign up, you need to give Zynn some personal information. There is no way to create an account directly with Zynn. It has to be linked to another service: Google, Facebook, Twitter or your phone number. I tried to link my Google Account, but Zynn did not let me continue when I refused to disclose my contact information. In the end, I signed up with a Google Voice burner number. This didn't result in the app asking for access to my contacts, but Zynn now knows my (wrong) phone number. The app also requested access to the location during the registration process. However, you can still proceed if you decline. To be able to pay out your rewards, you also need to link a PayPal account.