After waiting in a long line for nearly an hour to buy a cup of milk tea that has become popular online, a university student identified as Keke did not rush to drink her beverage. Instead, she took pictures of her milk tea and posted them on her WeChat Moments to gain “likes” and comments before tasting it.
Many young people like Keke in Shenzhen are now fond of interacting with others online by posting pictures of food and drinks from famous restaurants. To promote their products, a lot of restaurants also offer discounts to encourage customers to share online.
A recent college graduate identified as Xiaowu is considered a “foodie” by her friends because likes to post pictures of food. By posting pictures online, Xiaowu always earns a lot of “likes,” comments and questions regarding the food, which has made her popular among her friends.
According to a survey, 63 percent of netizens aged between 13 and 32 post pictures of food on their social media platforms. In particular, 57 percent of this group said they always take photos of their food before eating.
Xiaowu said it pleases her to see people tasting some of the foods she has recommended on her WeChat, because she feels recognized.
Another customer, surnamed Wang, said she bought the milk tea after seeing her friend’s recommendation on WeChat Moments.
Sharing food on the Internet has become a way to socialize with others.
Some online food commentators and bloggers seem to be evaluating foods that become popular on WeChat Moments. By working with these commentators and bloggers, some restaurants have gained even larger popularity and profits.
Regarding socializing by sharing food online, Jiang Ping, head of a psychology consulting association in Shenzhen, said this type of socializing is actually positive for participants as it relieves the stress of a fast and intense city life.