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Everybody's Copying TikTok

Updated on August 27, 2020

Mark Zuckerberg's Fortune Passes $100 Billion

On August 6, Mark Zuckerberg, the co-founder and CEO of Facebook Inc., was worth more than $100 billion for the first time, according to Bloomberg.

Zuckerberg became a billionaire in 2008 at the age of 23. Now 36 years old, his fortune passed $100 billion after Facebook's share price rose by 6% following the news that it had launched a video-sharing feature similar to TikTok.

This put Zuckerberg third in the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, with only Amazon's CEO Jeff Bezos and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates above him.

On August 5, the company launched the Instagram Reels feature in more than 50 countries, including the US, UK and Japan. The feature lets Instagram users record and edit videos of up to 15 seconds, allowing them to add music and share the videos on their Instagram Stories. Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion in 2012.

Meanwhile, on August 6, US President Donald Trump gave TikTok's Chinese-owned parent company, ByteDance, 45 days to stop operating in the US due to fears that the company could share user data with the Chinese government. The government of India banned the app for similar reasons in June.

According to Sensor Tower, TikTok has been downloaded 165 million times in the US, the most downloads in a country after China and India.

Zuckerberg currently controls 57.9% of Facebook's voting shares. In 2015, following the birth of his daughter, he said he would give away 99% of his shares through the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, which he founded with his wife, Priscilla Chan.

YouTube Plans 'Shorts' Feature to Compete with TikTok

According to the website The Information, YouTube is working on a new feature called "Shorts" to compete with TikTok, one of the most used apps of 2019.

On TikTok, users can watch or create 15-second videos, which people often make by moving to music and other sounds that are available on the app. TikTok is most popular among young people, with 80% of US users aged 16-34.

TikTok started in China in 2016. According to US marketing company Wallaroo, 680 million people were already using it each month by the end of 2018, and that number has probably grown to 800 million today.

But with over 2 billion users each month and an enormous amount of music already on the site, YouTube, which is owned by Google, may be ready to compete with TikTok.

TikTok has been compared to Vine, an app that allowed users to make 6-second videos. After starting in January 2013, by April it was the most popular free app on Apple's App Store. However, as Instagram added video to its service and Snapchat became more popular, Twitter-owned Vine could no longer compete and was shut down in 2017.

In April 2019, The Telegraph reported that advertisers paid TikTok users $600-$1,000 for a post if they had 1 million to 2.5 million followers. On Instagram, a post from an equally popular user would cost between $10,000 and $12,000.

Negative TikTok Reviews Deleted After Rating Drops to 1.2 Stars

Not related to the copying of TikTok, I wanted to put this here to show just how powerful social media can be and how it can influence the success of a company and how quickly people can forget about a certain platform that was popular just minutes ago. That's the power of social media.

TikTok's rating on the Google Play store dropped from 4.5 stars to just 1.2 stars in May, leading Google to delete millions of negative reviews.

The rating change happened after Faizal Siddiqui, an Indian social media influencer, posted a video that angered many. In the video, Siddiqui throws liquid on a woman during an argument. Although it was really only water, the woman is later seen in the video wearing makeup that makes it look like her face was burned by acid.

On May 18, India's National Commission for Women sent a letter to TikTok India asking the company to delete the video. The hashtag #BanTikTok also became popular on Twitter.

TikTok received so many one-star reviews on the Google Play store that its rating dropped to 1.2. Google says many of them were from people who made new accounts in order to complain and has since removed over 8 million new negative reviews, bringing the average user rating back up to 4.4.

A TikTok spokesperson told the BBC that the company does not allow videos that show people getting hurt, or that glorify violence against women. It has deleted all copies of the video and also suspended Siddiqui's account, who has since apologized.

TikTok was first launched outside of China in 2017 and has been downloaded by more than 1.5 billion people around the world. In 2019, it was downloaded more than Facebook or Instagram.

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