DMR News

Advancing Digital Conversations

TikTok’s Instagram competitor, Whee, struggles to gain traction

ByYasmeeta Oon

Jul 1, 2024

TikTok’s Instagram competitor, Whee, struggles to gain traction

In an unexpected move earlier this month, TikTok launched a new social app called Whee. This Instagram-like service allows users to take and share photos with friends while offering features such as photo filters and messaging. However, the future of Whee remains uncertain, as the app has garnered relatively few downloads and has yet to advertise itself via Apple’s Search Ads, according to recent data from app intelligence firm Appfigures.

Whee was quietly launched on June 18 in 71 countries worldwide. However, without any marketing support, new apps often remain largely invisible on today’s App Store, and Whee seems to be no exception. The app did not make its way into the Top Free Apps chart on Apple’s App Store, nor did it become one of the Top 500 Social apps in its supported markets initially. This situation has led to questions about ByteDance’s strategy for promoting Whee.

According to data from Appfigures, as of Tuesday, Whee had only achieved 13,000 total global downloads on iOS and slightly more than 10,000 Android downloads, per Google Play data. This relatively low number of downloads suggests that Whee is not being actively promoted in major markets like the United States. Instead, its top markets on iOS include Malaysia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Peru, and Indonesia. However, even in these countries, the number of downloads remains modest.

Top Markets for Whee (iOS Downloads):

Saudi Arabia1,000

The table above illustrates the download numbers from Whee’s top markets on iOS. The No. 1 market, Malaysia, contributed 2,400 downloads, while Indonesia, in fifth place, added just 800 installs. These figures suggest that many downloads likely came from users who stumbled upon Whee while searching the App Store, rather than through targeted marketing efforts.

One of the significant factors contributing to Whee’s low visibility is ByteDance’s decision not to use Apple’s Search Ads for promotion. Apple’s Search Ads help apps rank highly when users search for apps using specific keywords, giving them a crucial visibility boost. However, Appfigures found no activity related to Apple Search Ads for Whee, indicating a missed opportunity for reaching a broader audience.

User feedback for Whee has also been lukewarm. The app holds an Overall rating of 3.6 out of 5 globally, based on 31 App Store ratings. Out of these, only 10 ratings include reviews, suggesting that user engagement and satisfaction may be limited. This tepid reception could pose a challenge for Whee’s growth and long-term success in the competitive social media landscape.

  • Launch Date: June 18, 2024
  • Number of Supported Countries: 71
  • Global iOS Downloads: 13,000
  • Global Android Downloads: 10,000+
  • Top Markets: Malaysia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Peru, Indonesia
  • Average Rating: 3.6 out of 5
  • Number of Ratings: 31
  • Number of Reviews: 10

Whee is connected to TikTok, which is owned by Beijing-based ByteDance. However, according to its App Store listing, Whee is published by TikTok rather than ByteDance. This distinction may be part of a broader strategy to differentiate Whee from ByteDance’s other offerings, although the company has not provided any comments on its plans for the new app.

The timing of Whee’s launch is particularly noteworthy given the political context. President Biden signed the TikTok ban into law in late April, following the House’s passage of a revised bill that mandated either a TikTok ban or its sale. In response, TikTok has sued the U.S. government to block the law, delaying the ban while the courts work out the legalities. This situation has cast a shadow over ByteDance’s operations in the U.S., and the launch of Whee may be seen as an attempt to diversify and mitigate potential impacts from the TikTok ban.

As of now, ByteDance has not commented on its future plans for Whee. The lack of promotion and the app’s modest download numbers suggest that Whee may face challenges in gaining traction in the crowded social media market. Without a clear promotional strategy or significant user engagement, Whee’s future remains uncertain.

Despite these challenges, Whee’s potential should not be entirely dismissed. The app’s connection to TikTok provides a significant advantage, offering a potential user base and integration opportunities that could be leveraged for growth. However, ByteDance will need to invest in marketing and user engagement to realize this potential fully.

In conclusion, Whee’s launch represents an intriguing development in the social media landscape. While its future remains uncertain, the app’s success will largely depend on ByteDance’s ability to effectively promote and support it in the competitive market. For now, industry observers and users alike will be watching closely to see how Whee’s story unfolds.

Featured Image courtesy of GMA Network

Yasmeeta Oon

Just a girl trying to break into the world of journalism, constantly on the hunt for the next big story to share.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *