I'm building an app that allows users to generate photo/video content and display it to their followers. Media will have maximum of 24 hours visibility, after that, it will get deleted from server. Max of 5 media is allowed to stay forever per user. Question is: what should I show to initial users when launching app as I've nothing to show? Should I use dummy data when launching and later delete it? I'm looking for solution besides empty state concept.

  • 2
    This is more startup advice than UX, fake it till you make it. If you start a forum, you'll have to create multiple accounts and talk to yourself for a while to create the illusion of activity and community. You'll likely have to do something similar.
    – Martyn
    Feb 26, 2021 at 7:06

4 Answers 4


I would suggest to show a getting started guide like information. Maybe 5 good to know facts presented as you would later show photos or videos. The user can click on it and gets more information in a popup or the browser opens etc.


Since your app is content driven you should definitely try to animate the user to get started and start uploaded his first mediafile and/or connect with people.

You could do this with a process that maybe involves a bit of gamification, for example provide something like a percentage status and make uploading a mediafile part of that.

You could also show new users some inspirations by highlighting existing profiles and their shared files.


This has to be taken to the marketing department and with UX on gamificafion create a rewarding mechanism


It seems that you are launching something like another TikTok. Now let me tell you how Douyin won the competition against (ByteDance, the mother corp. of TikTok, their first successful product is Douyin, and they ported it to global TikTok). It had a competitor called Kuaishou, but TikTok did these:

  1. employ professional content creators. They just hired freelance creator to create content. Maybe you can try to pay someone to do so.
  2. Bonus for uploads. They gave away "Red Packets" to everyone who uploads when initiating. (Different form no.1 because the users here are not professional) You can do this by a lucky draw, which won't cost much
  3. Share on social media. With the help of WeChat Sharing (WeChat is a chatting platform by Tencent and had dominant market.) It allows sharing, and on the shared page, if you want to leave a comment, or upload your own video, you'll need to register. Boom! More users.
  4. Use robots. During Tokyo Olympics, they both used TTS (Text to speech) to generate score and medal reports on their platform. Though the TTS sounds bad, But the quantity is high, and it is just too punctual and that's your only choice.
  5. (They didn't admit it) Scrape from other sources. We had no access to Y2B, and they just download the videos and re-upload them to their platform. This approach may not apply to you, as is may violate the copyright law.

PS: you may want to watch NetFlix The Social Dilemma

First a company has three goals.

  1. Engagement. Keep you strolling.
  2. Growth. Keep you inviting someone else.
  3. Advertising. Keep making money.

From the documentary you may find how they made it.

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