Happy Birthday, TikTok, Now It’s Time to Grow Up and Take Over the World
Raise a glass to the birthday app and Do Not Read Until Monday.
Happy Birthday, TikTok, now it’s time to grow up and take over the world
Would you believe TikTok is only one year old? While technically not true, August 2 does happen to be the anniversary of the convergence of Musical.ly and Douyin, which resulted in the current incarnation of TikTok.
ByteDance, a Chinese tech start-up, developed Douyin in-house, then purchased Musical.ly, which had a similar vibe, but a way bigger international footprint.
In the time since the merge, TikTok has been nearly inescapable. Trends and memes start there, and brands are still trying to crack how to reach its users. Creators on the platform have started to dominate cultural conversation, such as at the traditionally YouTube-centric VidCon.
Should it keep those creators happy, say, through monetization, they should continue to push the platform to a more mainstream audience.
But where could that success lead for ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company?
While TikTok may be on the tongues of America’s teens (and social media managers), most of the company’s other offerings remain in the shadows. For example, you’d be forgiven for not having used Toutiao, or TopBuzz, ByteDance’s news aggregator. The Chinese version of the app has 700 million users. TopBuzz, its English-language equivalent, isn’t at quite the same level– and its following seems to be Boomer-cosplay fodder– but it’s conceivable ByteDance could replicate its success with TikTok. It’s already acquired a Western aggregator, News Republic.
Further, the company has a loooot of other projects its working on – Toutiao may offer an alternative to Baidu with its new search function and WeChat with Duoshan; it’s planning a Spotify alternative, working on AI music, and – why not – a phone.
The Chinese market already has some loose equivalents of U.S. firms – e.g. Baidu/Google, Tencent/Facebook, Alibaba/Amazon – however, ByteDance’s situation is different. It sets itself apart from Chinese companies by having a toehold in the U.S. market.
And, in contrast to U.S. firms, it has the fastest-growing platform in America.
Odds + The End
- It wouldn’t be a birthday party without gifs!
- Despite TikTok’s recent successes, YouTube’s still the top money-generating video app.
- Maybe that’s why creators are trying to unionize.
- Speaking of monetizing, Snap’s hoping Instant Create adswill draw more dollars.
- Snapchat also launched an ad campaign comparing itself favorably to Instagram.
- Twitter, ahem, also launched an ad campaign comparing itself favorably to Instagram. (And other platforms.)
- Instagram… hosted an influencer-swarmed beach party.
- Top Fortnite streamer Ninja has ditched Twitch for Mixer, a streaming competitor from Microsoft.
- The first Fortnite World Cup awarded $3 million to its champion.
- What’s AI up to this week? Getting emoand helping you get drunk more better.
- Facebook’s AI, meanwhile, is a step closer to reading your mind. Which is comforting.
- Publishers have benefitted from Facebook’s local news accelerator, the company said.
- Lyft found itself in the hot seat after one of its ebikes caught fire.
- Speaking of ebikes, delivery drivers are eating your food.
- Apple should launch its credit card this month.
- So are augmented reality art shows from the iPhone manufacturer.
- Tipping on Twitter is now possible thanks to the Brave browser. Reddit and Vimeo could be next.
- Spotify hit 108 million users.
- A senator hopes to abolish infinite scrolling on social networks and autoplay videos.
- Lil Nas X took his horse … all the way to the CEO position at Twitter.
- August 2, 2019