The Kids Use TikTok Now Because Data-Mined Videos Are So Much Fun
Comment of the Day

April 24 2019

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

The Kids Use TikTok Now Because Data-Mined Videos Are So Much Fun

This article by David Ramli and Shelly Banjo for Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section: 

Separately, TikTok has faced concerns over privacy and child safety. In February, Bytedance was fined $5.7 million by the Federal Trade Commission to settle allegations that, which Bytedance bought and renamed TikTok, illegally collected information from minors. It was the largest FTC penalty in a children’s privacy case.

The settlement didn’t scare off Bytedance’s investors or the company itself, which is spending hundreds of millions of dollars to advertise on Facebook in the hope of luring away more users. Over the past three months, for instance, 13 percent of all the ads seen by users of Facebook’s Android app were for TikTok, says app-analytics firm Apptopia.

The result is that Bytedance has had more success outside of China than any previous Chinese internet company, including Baidu and Tencent. The TikTok app and its Chinese version have been installed more than a billion times. (It has no relation to TicToc, Bloomberg LP’s breaking news network.) Late last year, executives told investors that they expect $18 billion in revenue this year and $29 billion in 2020, according to people familiar with its finances who aren’t authorized to discuss the company publicly. Bytedance will “become a global player,” says Hans Tung, managing partner of GGV Capital, one of the company’s backers. “It’s just a matter of when.”

Eoin Treacy's view

A subscriber’s son explained succinctly to me why Facebook succeeded over MySpace. He said it was because Facebook offered limitless photos and Myspace didn’t. All the girls migrated to Facebook, and all the boys followed. Within 18 months Myspace was a lifeless husk.

Musically, is where almost all young girls and young teenagers are spending their time today. It’s a streaming and video upload site where they perform songs. The company is now owned by Bytedance which is majority Chinese owned. Most of the girls in my daughters’ classes (5th and 7th grade) have accounts.

The app many kids use to communicate with one another is called Discord. It’s a group chat messaging server where they spend their time discussing whatever but it is primarily aimed at gamers. Here is a section from Wikipedia on which companies have invested in it:

The company raised an additional US$20 million in funding for the software in January 2016.[12] American multinational mass media and entertainment conglomerate WarnerMedia has invested in Discord.[13]

In December 2018 the company announced it raised $150 million in funding at a $2 billion valuation. The round was led by Greenoaks Capital with participation from Firstmark, Tencent, IVP, Index Venturesand Technology Opportunity Partners.[14]

Then they also spend time on Amino which is a fan forum for anything one might be a fan of, particularly if that thing is non-standard like Anime or Indie computer games, art etc. Here is a link to a Forbes article from 2015 with some additional information. 

It is owned by Ben Anderson and Yin Wang  

My 7th grader also uses iFunny which is a meme app where users post and upvote funny images. It is a Russian owned company run by David Chef.

These represent the future because while kids today still have an Instagram account, they spend the majority of their time on other platforms. As these kids grow up it is these platforms that are either going to prosper individually or represent the next big acquisition target for larger companies. The one thing we know from past experience is each successive generation has their own unique way of communicating with one another.

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