The Next Big TikTok Move? To Become Facebook

The way ByteDance can do that is by following in Facebook’s footsteps. After establishing a key base through its core app in the early 2000s, the tech giant, now called Meta, expanded its ecosystem by acquiring WhatsApp and Instagram, as well. by becoming a sign-in source for other services. It puts itself in all aspects of users ’lives online. “The external layout of ByteDance is not only limited to the short video industry, but also includes some upstream news and music platforms,” said Ashley Dudarenok, a Chinese marketing expert and founder of digital marketing agency Alarice and ChoZan. “ByteDance has a lot of ambitions for overseas markets, and its competition with Facebook has become more apparent.”

ByteDance has already been able to grow this way in China to some extent, said Arnold Ma, CEO of Qumin, a China-focused digital marketing agency. “There’s basically a completely unified journey of content for users, whether they’re just looking to find content or looking for information in an encyclopedic way,” he said. “Those who divide a little more are creating a more diverse and divided business model.”

“Globalization has always been their ambition,” said Rui Ma, founder of Tech Buzz China, a community of Chinese technology investors and operators. “Many Chinese businessmen in [Zhang] Yiming’s generation has made it their mission to build a global company. And around the world, Chinese entrepreneurs typically mean more than 50 percent of their revenue comes from outside China. Right now, ByteDance’s Chinese apps — the key between Douyin and Toutiao, a news aggregator app — account for most of its revenue. But that could change as ByteDance tries to more clearly cash in its multi-billion TikTok user base by introducing ecommerce and increasing ad revenue from the app.

If you look closely, you can already see the seeds of a plan to build TikTok’s success outside of China and create a broader business around ByteDance and its flagship product. Despite the appearances, it’s not really TikTok or Douyin, but the algorithmic engine that drives all of its applications. “Because of the nature of the company — that is, it’s an AI company at its core — they can do a lot,” Ouwehand said.

When ByteDance first launched TikTok outside of China, it sought to test and build a base for the app in Southeast Asian countries such as Indonesia, Japan, and Thailand. The company then moved to developing countries including India, where TikTok gained more than 200 million monthly active users before it was banned in June 2020 by the Indian government as part of a geopolitical dispute. , and Indonesia, where TikTok has 44 million users in the middle. -2020, according to internal data. Brazil is also an important market for video sharing apps, with a few third party estimates positioned it as the second largest global TikTok market. It’s no coincidence that the three testbeds for Resso, the same Spotify music streaming service by ByteDance launched in 2020, are Indonesia, India, and Brazil. Resso now more than 40 million users is divided between three countries, and has eyes of greater expansion.

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