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Copy It Or Buy It: Explaining Companies’ Craze Over TikTok

Microsoft is looking to acquire TikTok while Facebook is competing with TikTok with its own feature called Reels, showing how the craze behind this app genre is rising!

TikTok’s Growth

TikTok has been growing in popularity for the past few months worldwide. With most of the countries under lockdown due to the pandemic, more and more people are drifting towards the app, looking for entertainment. And the below numbers are a big proof of its growth.

  • As per the updated statistics published by Wallaroo Media, TikTok is estimated to have around 800 million monthly active users.
  • According to a report by Sensor Tower, the app has been downloaded more than 2 billion times worldwide.
  • It is estimated that the current number of monthly active TikTok users in the U.S is around 70 million.
  • As stated by sources, TikTok’s U.S revenues are anticipated to touch $500 million this year.

Those are some pretty solid numbers and this explains why Microsoft would want to buy it.

Microsoft + TikTok

Tech giant Microsoft has confirmed that it will continue to have discussions to buy TikTok from ByteDance. Microsoft has said that if it acquires TikTok, it would make sure that all private data of TikTok’s American users are transferred to and remains in the U.S. This statement by Microsoft has come after its CEO Sathya Nadella had a conversation with U.S President Donald Trump.

Sources have told Reuters that Trump has agreed to give ByteDance 45 days to negotiate a sale of TikTok to Microsoft. Trump, who said that he wants to ban TikTok a couple of days back, has now suddenly changed track, pushing ByteDance to sell it.

This news confirmed one thing: The craze behind creating a short-form video app amid tech companies is becoming massive and the biggest proof of it is Reels.

Introducing Reels

Reels, which was launched by Instagram, borrows some of the most popular features of TikTok, including allowing users to create music videos for up to 15 seconds and allowing users to take audio from other users to use in their own videos.

Instagram launched the app first in Brazil last year and Facebook also ran trials in Germany and France. The app was also launched in India, where TikTok is currently unavailable. Also, Instagram is looking to launch this feature in the U.S in “early August” and it will also be launched in over 50 other countries in the next couple of weeks.

This sounds like Zuckerberg really wants to push Reels into as many countries as he can but why copy TikTok?

Reasons To Clone Or Buy TikTok

Reducing Attention Span: Nowadays, people’s attention span is reducing. A lot of people don’t want to or they can’t read a three-page news article to know what is happening. We want everything to be summarised and shortened and this is the idea behind TikTok. Their videos are just for 15 seconds and this makes people stay in their app for a longer time.

As stated in App Annie’s State of Mobile report, U.S consumers spent some 85 million hours on TikTok in 2019. The report also showed that Americans spent more time in TikTok than in established streaming platforms like Amazon Prime Video, Twitch and HBO. So, it is obvious that people are preferring to spend more time watching short videos than series and movies.

Appealing To Generation Z: After millennials, the next wave of technology will be designed to please the Generation Z, who are called as trendsetters. 41% of TikTok’s users are aged 16 to 24 and these people are addicted to social media and smartphones. If tech companies don’t design apps to please Gen Z, then they might lose out on a big opportunity.

Short-form video mobile features or apps are becoming the next big thing in technology. Also, if Microsoft acquires TikTok, then the latter might be allowed to make a comeback in India because it will no longer be a Chinese company but become a U.S firm. So, let’s wait and see whether this acquisition happens and if it doesn’t happen, what is Microsoft’s game plan?

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