TikTok eyes big expansion as Meta, YouTube and Amazon seek to emulate video’s success
While imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, no company has garnered excessive adulation in the past year quite like TikTok’s Chinese parent company, ByteDance.
Yet amidst all this mimicry, a trend is quickly emerging: TikTok actually wants to look more like his competitors.
TikTok has not so quietly started developing or rolling out several new features designed to steal market share from many powerful players in the tech industry, including Apple, Google, and Meta. While many of these updates remain in the testing phase, the scope and ambition of TikTok’s expansion signals ByteDance’s aspirations to create a super-app-style product capable of reshaping the digital landscape.
In the past few months alone, multiple outlets (mostly led by TechCrunch) have documented TikTok’s nascent efforts to delve deeper into the areas of search, streaming, and advertising, among others. They understand…
- Addition of a dedicated shopping tab and expanding its suite of shopping ads features, which give businesses more tools to directly target potential customers. The effort aims to capitalize on TikTok users’ preference for finding new products and brands on the app, bypassing sites like Amazon and Google.
- Do easier for users to quickly run searches in video comment sections by automatically highlighting and linking common keywords. The update comes as Google executives warn that younger users are increasingly using TikTok as a search engine, undermining the Alphabet unit’s lucrative search ads business.
- Test several “mini-games” that can be played on the TikTok mobile app. The move could reduce revenue for other companies that host mobile games in their apps, including Apple, Google and Meta.
- Filing of a trademark application for “TikTok Music”, which could precede the launch of an audio streaming platform designed to compete with Spotify, Apple and other music services. Although TikTok has not announced any additional plans for audio streaming, it already operates a platform, called Resso, in Brazil, India and Indonesia. A former ByteDance employee also told TechCrunch that the company has considered launching Resso under the “TikTok Music” brand in other countries.
To be fair to the Big Tech giants targeted by TikTok, the ByteDance unit has yet to prove that it doesn’t bite off more than it can chew.
TikTok has certainly shaken up the tech industry by capitalizing on shifting tastes towards algorithm-recommended content and short-form video, helping the platform amass a user base exceeding 1 billion people. However, it will take a gargantuan effort to simultaneously become a major player in social media, e-commerce, audio streaming, mobile games, advertising, and more.
At the same time, TikTok is increasingly coming under the same microscope that has shattered Facebook’s reputation in recent years. The role of business in spread false informationcontribute to user mental health issuesand burn out the workers has become a staple of tech headlines in recent months.
To top it off, the United States lawmakers are already chafing to TikTok’s influence in light of ByteDance’s roots, warning that the Chinese government could exploit the company’s data and use its app to push pro-communist propaganda.
Still, if the last five years have shown us anything about TikTok, it’s that the platform can adapt and grow at an unprecedented rate. ByteDance could convert its massive user base, superior AI technology and clear business cunning into a new kind of digital giant, one that makes its competitors want to look even more like TikTok.
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Mark your calendars. Apple tentatively plans to start selling its latest line of iPhones in mid-September, the first of several product releases planned for the second half of 2022, Bloomberg reported Thursday. Sources familiar with Apple’s plans told Bloomberg that the company is targeting September 7 for an iPhone 14 launch event, with the smartphone going on sale September 16. Apple typically releases iPhones to the public about a week after its launch events. The company has not announced specific dates for either occasion.
All-in on Tolkien. group of kissers has acquired the intellectual property rights at The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, part of a spending spree announced Thursday by the Swedish media and video game company, The Verge reported. The deal gives Embracer control of multiple rights – including film, television, video games and merchandising – related to the JRR Tolkien fantasy series. Embracer unveiled five acquisitions totaling $577 million in upfront costs, along with an undisclosed sixth purchase.
The choir grows. Chinese officials lambasted a recently signed US law which provides $52 billion in federal subsidies to semiconductor makers, joining a group of foreign officials opposed to key parts of the package, Bloomberg reported Thursday. The vice president of the China Semiconductor Industry Association said the legislation discriminates against the republic and violates World Trade Organization rules, echoing comments this week from European Union and South Korean officials. The law, commonly referred to as the CHIPS-Plus Act, prohibits recipients of federal funds to expand their advanced semiconductor manufacturing operations in China for 10 years.
On the sunniest side. Cisco surpassed analysts fiscal fourth quarter results and revenue estimates, while posting a better-than-expected outlook for the next 12 months, CNBC reported Wednesday. The software giant saw fourth-quarter sales, revenue and margins tumble year-over-year, but company executives forecast a rebound in fiscal 2023 that beat market expectations. analysts. Shares of Cisco rose 6% in midday trading Thursday.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Make an example. As Congress slowly debates a sweeping national data privacy law, the Federal Trade Commission has begun to take action on a burning issue. The Washington Post reported on Thursday that FTC officials were threatening to sue an Idaho-based advertising technology company, alleging that its mobile tracking data allowed customers to identify people visiting sensitive locations. These areas of interest include clinics that provide abortion-related services, drug rehabilitation centers, and other health care facilities. Although the threat of litigation carries symbolic weight, the FTC generally does not initiate many privacy-related lawsuits due to its limited resources.
The action is an early indication of how the agency could assert itself as an advocate for health-related data, following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade in June. The FTC’s action comes as prominent Democrats, privacy advocates and technologists warn that people’s digital traces could become evidence in abortion lawsuits, and after cases where details such as history research and Facebook posts about the proceedings were used as evidence against the women.
In the absence of a comprehensive federal privacy law, Democrats in Washington can take limited steps to protect reproductive health data.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
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TikTok cracks down on misinformation and paid political content ahead of US midterm electionsby Alena Botros
Adam Neumann’s $350M comeback is a ‘slap in the face’ to founders and founders of colorby Emma Hinchliffe and Paige McGlauflin
Calls for mounting SEC probe after stock meme king potentially pumps and dumps Bed Bath & Beyond stockby Christiaan Hetzner
Why real estate startups are hot right now, according to a top VCby Anne Sraders
BEFORE YOU LEAVE
Stop the flight? Don’t be surprised if you start hearing the royalty-free song “Happy Birthday” on other branded TikTok videos. Insider reported on Wednesday that titans of the audio industry Universal Music Group and Sony Music Are increasingly try to eradicate copyright violations from songs by influencers and businesses using TikTok. While ordinary users have a license to overlay certain tracks on their videos, UMG and Sony allege that big brands like Bang Energy parent Vital Pharmaceuticals violated copyrights by using snippets of hit songs in TikTok marketing videos. Both companies are suing Vital Pharmaceuticals, which has received billions of views on its Bang Energy TikTok videos.
Correction: Wednesday’s edition of Technical sheet incorrectly reported the amount of money the Congressional Budget Office estimates will be spent on semiconductor subsidies through the CHIPS-Plus Act by the end of 2025. It is 16 billions of dollars.
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