Reading marks new chapter in internet age

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China Daily, May 21, 2021

Readers enjoy browsing books at the Zhiwu Bookstore in Shanghai. [Photo by Wang Gang/for China Daily]

Influencers on Douyin earn commission when users buy books after watching videos on the platform. If publishing houses want to invite a well-known livestreaming host or hostess to promote their books, they need to pay a fixed fee, plus commission.

To introduce their videos, influencers on Bilibili such as Bai and Anne choose new books they like, which are delivered by publishing houses free of charge. Bilibili is a less-commercial platform than others, featuring user-generated content. Users cannot buy goods from the site.

Bai said influencers on Bilibili attract fans due to their online personas and the quality of their videos. The main way they make money is by promoting goods to fans, but fans can find this hard to accept, as they view influencers more as good friends.

Chang said,"Influencers on Bilibili are building their own 'brand value' via good-quality content, and publishing houses like us can provide new books for them to choose their material from."

Zhang Ning, a professor of Chinese literature at Beijing Normal University's School of Chinese Language and Literature, said the trend of promoting books through online short videos shows that the way in which young people receive information has changed.

They have become used to receiving a range of information via the internet. Publishing houses have adjusted to this, cooperating with influencers for promotional activities, he said.

Zhang added that short videos can never replace reading.

"It's essential to keep the habit of in-depth reading, which is also a process of honing your logic and thinking ability," he said.

"One's energy and attention are easily diverted in the mobile internet era. If you indulge in video games and short videos for entertainment over a long time, your ability to think will be affected."

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