ByteDance is more Innovative than Facebook
In the Tech Wars, ByteDance over Facebook will create the next killer app
ByteDance has a killer app (among many) called TikTok which is taking marketshare over Instagram in places like South-East Asia and India. But that’s not the full story.
ByteDance is a Beijing based company that has the opportunity to take over the app-attention economy of the world, since they are able to create in-app experiences and personalization that no other company can really mimic. ByteDance has a wide range of apps taking on Tencent’s strong position in China itself.
TikTok: the world’s most valuable startup that you’ve never heard of
ByteDance is the company behind such hit apps such as TikTok, Toutiao, Top Buzz and many others. In 2019 it will clearly emerge as the most valuable startup in the world and as the prime candidate for a Chinese Tech company to go global with the best consumer apps in the world.
ByteDance in my opinion could challenge Facebook by 2023 in terms of mobile retention, users and captivating the attention of the young people of the planet. The trajectory of ByteDance’s growth is explosive much like many companies based out of Beijing that eventually get access to Chinese Government backed funds.
ByteDance Shows a Talent for Global Growth in Gen Z Users
In 2019, we can easily say ByteDance is more innovative than Facebook. Facebook may have more users, be richer and have more data on consumers with a successful advertising rooted business but its apps don’t provide much value or personalization for users.
China’s standard for apps is much higher than the unregulated Western internet, with the ubiquitous utility of WeChat. ByteDance in 2019 or in 2020 is likely to launch a direct competitor to WeChat. This is when the real damage and potential of ByteDance will be seen. If ByteDance goes IPO in the West, it could easily become a very significant tech stock and a new part of the BAT acronym. If FANG can become FAANG, no doubt we should already be saying BBAT. (Baidu, ByteDance, Alibaba, Tencent).
Tik Tok has shown impressive growth outside of China and that’s the point — here is a generation of apps and a company that understands how to grow not just on the Chinese internet but to reach young people wherever they live. In the space of just two years, the app has amassed more than half a billion users — around 40% of them outside China — who share short videos of themselves lip-syncing, cooking, dancing or just being silly. Acquiring musical.ly augmented their base with global teens and Gen Z. Facebook can’t clone it even when they try.
ByteDance is therefore a Gen Z facing company, and this is Facebook’s major weakness. Facebook is very poor at relating to young people of today, its best move has been copying Snapchat’s key feature.
ByteDance will Create a Better WeChat
When we think of Instagram, Twitter or Snapchat they are niche apps — even incredibly popular; they don’t provide a broad range of services or experiences. ByteDance will eventually create more immersion via offering more utility — in a “killer app”. Tik Tok is more just like a beta test of how to gain users and create immersion, but a WeChat competitor would be designed for many layers of convenience. They could essentially create a better WeChat, the most dominant global app by Tencent.
The most popular messaging app in the West is WhatsApp, not WeChat; people use PayPal, not Alipay, for digital payments; Google dominates the search market, not Baidu. However ByteDance is a generational company and being born in China, it has many huge advantages including a massive competition for more consumers and access to greater funding and the opportunity to lead the emergence of Asian companies that later this century will become the dominant trend in technology.
ByteDance isn’t just a threat to BAT companies, it’s a direct competitor to Facebook’s family of apps for the consumer’s attention. It’s like stories upgraded. It’s ‘feel good’ virality, that’s more entertaining (Tik Tok)than voyeuristic (Instagram). For the Asian young population, Instagram doesn’t stand a chance compared to TikTok, and ByteDance will soon create even more immersive and useful apps.