Tik Tok: We are not a social network like Facebook


TikTok, owned by China’s privately owned ByteDance, is aware that Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg is retooling the Facebook and Instagram apps to be more like its popular short video service. But Tik Tok does not bother to imitate Facebook.

“ Facebook is a social platform, ” said Blake Chandley , Head of Global Business Solutions at TikTok. And Facebook built all its algorithms based on the social graph. This is its primary competence. But we are not. We are an entertainment platform.

Chandley, who spent 12 years at Facebook before joining TikTok in 2019, noted that Facebook would likely run into trouble if it tried to clone TikTok, while providing a lower experience for users and brands.

And Facebook launched Instagram Reels in 2020 as its first foray into the short video space. Last year, it moved the service to its main Facebook app.

Facebook’s head of apps Tom Allison said this week that he sees TikTok increasingly stealing a share of the world’s largest social network.

Facebook plans to tweak its main feed to look more like the Chinese platform’s feed by recommending more content regardless of whether it’s shared by friends.

Meta’s share price is down 52% this year, a poor performance for a stock on the Nasdaq, which is down 32%.

The company said in April that revenue in the second quarter could fall from a year earlier for the first time. Zuckerberg also acknowledged  earlier this year the increasing competitive pressure from the Chinese platform. “This is why our focus on Reels is so important in the long run,” he said.

Facebook clones Tik Tok

Chandley compared Zuckerberg’s current problem to the challenge Google faced when it was trying to take on Facebook. And he said: We had war rooms in Facebook  when Google was creating its social network, Google Plus. Everyone was worried about that.

But no matter how much money Google has poured into its social networking efforts, it can’t compete with Facebook, which has become the default place for people to connect with friends and share photos and updates.

It has since become clear that Google’s primary value is search, while Facebook’s primary value is social communication.

Chandley said: “Tik Tok highlights cultural trends and the unique experience people have through it. And people wouldn’t have that experience with Facebook unless Facebook moved away from its social values, and I don’t think that would do the trick.

Chandley added that he considers both Facebook and Google to be strong competitors. But he noted that TikTok has a host of competitors around the world, including companies in e-commerce and live broadcasts.

The Chinese platform has not seen a slowdown in ad spending, despite companies such as Snap, which have told investors that ad revenue is being hurt by inflation and the risk of recession.

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