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Facebook sees TikTok as a threat

Own Correspondent

Snapchat cofounder and CEO Evan Spiegel has indicated that the Chinese video-sharing app TikTok is a friendly to his platform, rather than a competitor. 

  He also said TikTok contributes to an increase in the amount of time people spend on mobile devices, which is good news for Snapchat.

  But other social media giants like Facebook see TikTok as a threat. They have reacted to the meteoric rise of the Chinese app with concern. 

  Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg recently said TikTok is one of Facebook’s emerging competitors, noting that it had already surpassed the number of Instagram users in India.

  Spiegel however, cited a few reasons to call TikTok a friend. For one, Snap and TikTok have active developer and advertising partnerships. The apps provide starkly different services, meaning they are not in direct competition, he said.

  And more broadly, TikTok is leading people to spend more time on their smartphones, which Spiegel sees as good news for Snapchat.

  “Time spent on mobile is growing. We’re both growing our businesses in a very rapidly growing industry overall. The value they provide to their community is very different from the value we provide to ours.” he said.

  Snapchat has now reached 210 million daily active users, a 13 percent increase from last year, Spiegel said. 

  In July this year ByteDance, the Beijing-based company that owns TikTok, said it has approximately 700 million daily users across its apps.

  TikTok, the viral short video app where millions of teens post comedy skits set to snappy music hooks, is facing a backlash in the US, where lawmakers warn that the app could pose a security risk, and are calling on regulators and intelligence agencies to investigate TikTok’s ties to China.

  TikTok has exploded in popularity and become one of the few Chinese-owned social media apps to gain traction in Western countries.

  The app was downloaded 177 million times last quarter, according to mobile data firm Sensor Tower; the second most downloaded app worldwide, just behind Facebook-owned WhatsApp. It also made $40 million in revenue on the iOS App store last quarter, and has amassed about 100 million users in the United States, according to Sensor Tower.

  TikTok is unavailable in China, though ByteDance owns a domestic version there called Douyin.

  TikTok said: “Our data centres are located entirely outside of China, and none of our data is subject to Chinese law. We have a dedicated technical team focused on adhering to robust cybersecurity policies, and data privacy and security practices.”

  TikTok now has one billion users and many are outside China.

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