A memorial video for a Russian content creator has gone viral on Bilibili in the past week. The video features special “bullet chats” in Russian sent from Chinese users of the app in memory of uploader “Pavlov’s Drinking Food”, who passed away from COVID-19 earlier this October.
Pioneered by Bilibili, “bullet chats” are a live commenting function that has transformed the user experience by displaying the thoughts and feelings of other viewers watching the same video. This social feature aims to bring people together and let them chat while watching a video all within the same app.
When users send bullet chats such as “farewell” or “rest in peace” in Chinese in the memorial video made by Pavlov’s Chinese friend, the bullet chats can automatically change into its Russian version. The progress bar icon itself was designed as a small bottle of vodka, Pavlov’s drink of choice.
Views of the memorial video “Farewell, Uncle Pavlov” surpassed three million in just two days and had over 10,000 comments. Over 70,000 bullet chats have been sent by Bilibili users mourning Pavlov.
Pavlov started uploading videos to Bilibili on May 15, 2020, and his account has garnered over 200,000 followers. His persona, “Uncle Pavlov”, is loved by Bilibili users as his video content usually shows him drinking and having dinner alone after work. Users seem to love learning about authentic Russian food and culture and think it’s very relaxing to watch him drinking and dining.
With a glass of vodka or beer in hand, Pavlov would toast to his audiences in each video, a signature feature of his videos. He would toast to all kinds of things ranging from health, friends, or the season of the year to the kindness of people in his life. His positive attitude and love for life deeply touched the hearts of Bilibili users.