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 Musical.ly, 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.”
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.Click HERE to subscribe to Fuller Treacy Money Back to top