• Nov 29

    the latest chapter in the online streaming wars and the global war for the collective attention-spans of America, China, and India heats up!

  • Nov 29

    Teen's TikTok video about China's Muslim camps goes viral

  • Nov 29

    What is TikTok?

    TikTok is a Chinese social video platform. Their tag is "TikTok: Make your day."

    Just the facts

    • 50 million active users in the US
    • 150 million active users in China
    • 500 million active users worldwide
    • 41% of TikTok users are aged 16 to 24
    • 90% of TikTok users are on the app once a day or more

    How does it work?

    You record a video using the app, which can be edited with filters and effects and also add music from their library. The limit for a recording is 15 seconds i think

    The app itself is characterized by a full-screen, vertical video player, which users swipe through to browse an endless content feed.

    The app also has features where users can upload a reaction to another video on the app, or record a duet with another user

    It also has a primitive, yet developing web client. At the moment you can see which videos are trending, check out user profiles, and browse content through their Discover page. I couldn't find a link to log in or upload a video, or see a search bar to look up videos anywhere though. You can also watch videos here, uploads will play inside of a popup that will look all too familiar to Instagram users

  • What appears to separate TikTok from other social media platforms is their use of AI to shape their content experience. As you browse, their AI quickly learns what you like and what you don't like, and adjusts your feed to keep you browsing. This happens automatically, without the user having to do anything at all. If you scroll past a video or stop watching before it's over, it will remember and show you less of similar content. Likewise if you play a video all the way through, it will recommend you more videos like that

    The app is developed by a Chinese company ByteDance. The native Chinese version of the app is called Douyin, which uses the same advanced technology to censor the app for the Chinese audience. In 2016, ByteDance bought the streaming app for 1 billion dollars, which gave them access to the lucrative American user base and used it to develop TikTok. But this purchase might come back to bite them

    Just this month, the US government have started to look into the American-Chinese partnership. They want to investigate concerns about Chinese censorship in the US, as well as private information on Americans being collected by China. And if you think this is a long shot, remember that the Chinese company Huawei was recently banned from the US for a similar reason !

    If the gov. doesn't like what it's seeing, the company might potentially be broken up

  • Nov 30

    What is Triller?

    Triller is an American social video platform. Their tagline is "Triller: You do you"

    About Triller

    You would be forgiven for thinking that this is just a blatant rip-off of the Chinese giant, clearly intended to capitalize on the current short, musical video trend. But believe it or not, Triller actually came first it's also owned by a bunch of record labels like Epic, Interscope, and Atlantic so a bunch of rappers and singers have videos on it, although it looks like they might just be using it cause their labels have coerced them to

    it also seems like this app is more geared towards being strictly music-related, other than the alternatives that are more for general entertainment. which makes sense cause it seems more like a promo tool for record labels

  • Nov 30

    What is Lasso?

    Lasso is Facebook's alternative to TikTok. Their tag is "Lasso: short, fun videos"

    Just the facts

    • "According to a 2018 PEW study Facebook isn’t even in the top three most used social networks amongst teens."

    • Only 5% of teens in the US say Facebook is their favorite social platform

    • Monthly Facebook usage amongst teens has dropped from 60% to less than 40% since 2016

    • "Although Facebook does own Instagram, which still has a firm hold on the teen usage, it is worth noting that since 2015 Facebook went from having the #1 & #2 most popular social networks amongst teens to #2 & #4."

    • "IGTV is largely considered a flop. Of the top 10 Instagrammers, only half have ever even posted to the IGTV platform."

    • "According to a Morgan Stanley study 75% of Facebook Watch users are viewing short-form videos (under 20 minutes) weekly, and 78% of respondents said they have used YouTube in the last 12 months, compared with 43% for Facebook Watch."

    Facebook's Response to TikTok

    After rolling out their video streaming options Facebook Watch and IGTV, Facebook's Watch team quietly released Lasso, their version of the popular Chinese app TikTok

    Looking at it, the app is mostly the same. Users upload a 15-second clip, add music, filters, and effects, and stream uploads in a vertical, swipe-able feed.

    The only distinguishing feature seems to be a feed near the top of the home page featuring top creators for the day, plus integration with Facebook and Instagram

    Unfortunately, the app doesn't appear to be as popular currently:

    "By all accounts Lasso is not attracting much of an audience. According to CNBC, as of February of 2019, Lasso had been downloaded by an 70,000 U.S. users – in the same period of time TikTok had been downloaded by 40 million U.S. users.

    "In exploring the Lasso community none of the creators on the platform have significant followings. I never found anyone with more than 3.5K followers. In fact, the most popular creator I could find was James Henry, with 3.1K followers on Lasso vs his 1.6 million followers on TikTok.

    "Meanwhile, there are dozens, if not hundreds of creators on TikTok with millions of followers. TikTok has even gotten so popular it has begun to attract mainstream celebrities such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, DJ Khaled, and Ryan Seacrest (to name a few).

    "In exploring the Lasso community there doesn’t appear to be much happening. I noticed that the level of engagement it takes to be designated the ‘Top Creator Of The Day’ is very low. In the days I explored the app the content creators featured in the ‘Top Creators Of The Day’ section had fewer than 5 comments."

  • Facebook / Mark Zuckerberg on TikTok

    Excerpt from a Q&A session between Zuckerberg and Facebook employees:

    "Facebook employee: Are we concerned about TikTok’s growing cultural clout among teens and Gen Z, and what is our plan of attack?

    Mark Zuckerberg: So yeah. I mean, TikTok is doing well. One of the things that’s especially notable about TikTok is, for a while, the internet landscape was kind of a bunch of internet companies that were primarily American companies. And then there was this parallel universe of Chinese companies that pretty much only were offering their services in China. And we had Tencent who was trying to spread some of their services into Southeast Asia. Alibaba has spread a bunch of their payment services to Southeast Asia. Broadly, in terms of global expansion, that had been pretty limited, and TikTok, which is built by this company Beijing ByteDance, is really the first consumer internet product built by one of the Chinese tech giants that is doing quite well around the world. It’s starting to do well in the US, especially with young folks. It’s growing really quickly in India. I think it’s past Instagram now in India in terms of scale. So yeah, it’s a very interesting phenomenon.

    And the way that we kind of think about it is: it’s married short-form, immersive video with browse. So it’s almost like the Explore Tab that we have on Instagram, which is today primarily about feed posts and highlighting different feed posts. I kind of think about TikTok as if it were Explore for stories, and that were the whole app. And then you had creators who were specifically working on making that stuff. So we have a number of approaches that we’re going to take towards this, and we have a product called Lasso that’s a standalone app that we’re working on, trying to get product-market fit in countries like Mexico, is I think one of the first initial ones. We’re trying to first see if we can get it to work in countries where TikTok is not already big before we go and compete with TikTok in countries where they are big.

    We’re taking a number of approaches with Instagram, including making it so that Explore is more focused on stories, which is increasingly becoming the primary way that people consume content on Instagram, as well as a couple of other things there. But yeah, I think that it’s not only one of the more interesting new phenomena and products that are growing. But in terms of the geopolitical implications of what they’re doing, I think it is quite interesting. I think we have time to learn and understand and get ahead of the trend. It is growing, but they’re spending a huge amount of money promoting it. What we’ve found is that their retention is actually not that strong after they stop advertising. So the space is still fairly nascent, and there’s time for us to kind of figure out what we want to do here. But I think this is a real thing. It’s good."

    Quote from Mark Zuckerberg speech to Georgetown Univerity, October 2019:

    “Until recently, the internet in almost every country outside China has been defined by American platforms with strong free expression values. There’s no guarantee these values will win out. A decade ago, almost all of the major internet platforms were American. Today, six of the top ten are Chinese. ... While our services, like WhatsApp, are used by protesters and activists everywhere due to strong encryption and privacy protections, on TikTok, the Chinese app growing quickly around the world, mentions of these protests are censored, even in the US. Is that the internet we want?”

  • Nov 30

    a quick story about facebook:

    "When I was building an App for my company I asked the developer to make it social. He asked me if I wanted to assume that the user had Facebook on their phone. I asked him why it mattered?

    He said to me “if the user has Facebook on her phone, we can easily find their age their location, they are gender, race, and everything you want to know about them.

    I immediately deleted Facebook and My Account."

  • Nov 30

    Facebook's Zuckerberg criticizes TikTok for censoring protesters

    Before Mark Zuckerberg Tried To Kill TikTok, He Wanted To Own It

    Mark Zuckerberg has a secret TikTok account: Report

    Instagram tests new feature that looks suspiciously like TikTok

    "With the advent of Snapchat, Facebook responded by deploying at least four Snapchat copycats — Poke, Slingshot, Lifestage and Flash — before simply taking the Stories feature that was so popular within Snapchat and copying it to Instagram. Shortly after taking the stories feature and applying it to Instagram, Snapchat usage plummeted."

    "However, with TikTok, Facebook has a far more formidable competitor than they had with Snapchat. TikTok is part of ByteDance, a Chinese based firm which has a $75 billion valuation, and recently raised $3 Billion with Softbank."

    Will Zuckerberg be able to turn TikTok into a duppy like he did to Snapchat, or is this the beginning of the end for his company's social media hegemony?

  • Vine >>>

  • Nov 30

    "In China, daily life has become even more tech-driven than it is in the U.S. People can pay for things by letting cameras scan their faces; last year, a high school in Hangzhou installed scanners that recorded classrooms every thirty seconds and classified students’ facial expressions as neutral, happy, sad, angry, upset, or surprised. The Chinese government has been assembling what it calls the Social Credit System, a network of overlapping assessments of citizen trustworthiness, with opaque calculations that integrate information from public records and private databases. The government has also set benchmarks for progress in artificial-intelligence development at five-year intervals. Last year, Tianjin announced plans to put sixteen billion dollars toward A.I. funding; Shanghai announced a plan to raise fifteen billion.

    "There are two principal approaches to artificial intelligence. In symbolic A.I., humans give computers a set of elaborate rules that guide them through a task. This works well for things like chess, but everyday tasks—identifying faces, interpreting language—tend to be governed by human instinct as much as by rules. And so another approach, known as neural networks, or machine learning, has predominated in the past two decades or so. Under this model, computers learn by recognizing patterns in data and continually adjusting until the desired output—a correctly labelled face, a properly translated phrase—is consistently achieved. In this sort of system, the quantity of data is, broadly speaking, more important than the sophistication of the program interpreting it. The sheer number of users that Chinese companies have, and the types of data that come from the integration of tech with daily life, give those companies a crucial advantage.

    "Chinese tech companies are often partly funded by the government, and they openly defer to its requests, turning over user messages and purchase data, for instance. Tencent, which owns WeChat, has a “Follow Our Party” sign on a statue in front of its headquarters. The Wall Street Journal has reported that a ByteDance office in Beijing includes a room for a cybersecurity team of the Chinese police, which the company informs when it “finds criminal content like terrorism or pedophilia” on its apps. Last year, ByteDance was ordered to suspend Toutiao and to shut down a meme-centric social app called Neihan Duanzi—the name means something like “implied jokes”—because the content had become too vulgar, too disorderly, for the state. Zhang issued an apology, written in the language of government control. ByteDance had allowed content to appear that was “incommensurate with socialist core values, that did not properly implement public opinion guidance,” he said.

    "Three days later, the Times reported that the Chinese government had deployed facial-recognition technology to identify Uighurs, a Muslim minority in the country, through its nationwide network of surveillance cameras. China has imprisoned more than a million Uighurs in reëducation camps, in Xinjiang, and has subjected them to a surge in arrests, trials, and prison sentences. In August, I asked a ByteDance spokesperson about the fear that the massive trove of facial closeups accumulated on its various products could be misused. Even if people trusted ByteDance not to do anything sinister, I said, what if a third party got hold of the company’s data? The spokesperson told me that the data of American users was stored in-country—TikTok’s data is now kept in the U.S. and Singapore, the rep said—and noted, nonchalantly, that people made their faces available to other platforms, too."

    - How TikTok Holds Our Attention, New Yorker, Sep. 2019

  • This Just In: Popular Street Rapper Promotes New Dance Record With A Triller Video

    Also wants to promote a new dance challenge. Is this the new wave?

  • ANOTHER TikTok competitor?

    A new American short videos app called Firework, which is gaining steam in India, is drawing attention not for its video content, but because it's being considered as a potential acquisition by Google.

    guys wyd lets just make a vine clone and count these billions y'all

  • the s in this thread kill me

  • It's over y'all

    The true successor to Vine is here guys

    Byte, from the makers of Vine and V2. Get it while its hot

    honestly the ui looks pretty cancerous but I'm optimistic

  • Monster

    the latest chapter in the online streaming wars and the global war for the collective attention-spans of America, China, and India heats up!

    What is the diff between this an apple Spotify

  • Sousa2626

    What is the diff between this an apple Spotify

    I'm not sure if you can listen to full songs on tik tok

    I think its just videos of teens dancing to snippets

    its easy for people to go viral making short music videos

  • Sousa2626

    What is the diff between this an apple Spotify

    everything lmao

  • TikTok Has Been Banned in India

    Along with over 50 other Chinese apps, citing “prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order.”

    This is also just days after news broke that TikTok secretly records information from your keyboard. This is pretty important cause if you look at the first post ITT, India and China are the 2 most massive markets in the world.

    U.S. soon ?

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