In 2017, a commercialization team with a scale of more than 400 people was formed, and the two major businesses of knowledge services and commercial advertising have gradually become the main monetization weapons.

At that time, the trend of paying for knowledge was booming, and Zhihu also began to accelerate its layout in this field: first, it launched institutional accounts that had insisted on refusing to open it, and later launched Live, bookstores, private classes, book clubs, etc. Products, and thus built a set of “knowledge market” product system. In the second year, the system was upgraded to “Knowledge University” again.

The outlets come fast and go fast. As the popularity of paying for knowledge begins to decline, Zhihu’s commercialization attempts are again facing challenges. At the end of 2018, news about Zhihu’s large-scale layoffs and organizational restructuring began to spread.

At the beginning of 2019, Zhihu once again integrated all knowledge products and launched the salt selection membership system. At this time, the two wagons that led the commercialization of Zhihu became members and advertisements.

Relying on e-books, videos, courses and other content for free to members, Zhihu has successfully absorbed a group of members. However, due to the unclear product positioning, the continuous monetization ability of members is not optimistic, and Zhihu’s later introduction of good product recommendation, appreciation and other functions are also doubtful because of level restrictions.

From Q&A products to payment for knowledge, from Zhihu University to membership system…After several rounds of commercialization attempts related to “knowledge”, what currently brings the most benefits to Zhihu is detrimental Commercial advertising with platform tonality.

However, Zhihu’s excessive reliance on advertising revenue makes it difficult for it to exercise restraint in advertising docking and layout. Low-quality and ubiquitous advertising will not only cause a secondary impact on the platform’s declining content quality, but also It will also greatly reduce the user experience.

Up to now, even though Zhihu has fallen in value and fully embraces commercialization, in the face of its slightly ugly appearance, the outside world still has doubts about the hematopoietic ability of the platform. This is from the number of the big V. You can get a side show just the first time you leave.

In March 2017, Wukong Q&A used a lot of money to poach the 300 big Vs of Zhihu, and signed a content exclusive clause with them, stipulating that the latter can no longer provide content for Zhihu.

In January 2019, Zhihu Big V left again collectively and entered Weibo for Q&A. However, the difference from last time is that this time it is not a competitor’s poaching behavior, but the active choice of the big Vs, and the reason for the big Vs to leave is very simple-it is difficult to make money on Zhihu.

For knowledge Q&A communities like Zhihu, high-quality content creators have always been the core assets of the platform, and with the departure of the big Vs several times, Zhihu’s core competitiveness has also weakened.

Recently, Zhou Yuan called to the creators at the 10th anniversary of Zhihu, saying that he would invest a total of billions of dollars in cash and flow to increase support for the latter. But as soon as he said this, he was immediately ridiculed by the crowd.