TikTok Boom

I recently vacationed with friends. As we were wrapping lunch one day, my friend said, “Watch this.” His 11-year-old son walked to the couch and lay on his side. With his arm extended in front of him cradling his phone, he … went vacant. For the next hour, he was comatose. No signs of life other than his open eyes and an occasional finger swipe. “We have to make him stop, pull him out, every time,” his dad said. My head filled with images of opium dens in China. Something about the stillness, the lying on his side.

Elon Musk’s manic toggling between shit-posting and falsehoods have distracted us from what is the ascendant tech firm of 2022. TikTok now commands more attention per user than Facebook and Instagram combined. Downloaded more often than any other app for each of the past five quarters, it was the world’s most visited site in 2021. TikTok has 1.6 billion monthly active users — more than Twitter, Snapchat, and LinkedIn combined.

TikTok bills itself as a social media company, and the app is disrupting Meta by virtue of usurping attention. But that’s not all it’s doing. You can like, comment, and share, but these features exist as leverage points for one thing: watching videos. TikTok is a streaming platform, and the testicles being kicked over and over by TikTok belong to another company, Netflix. Over the past four years, ByteDance (parent company of TikTok) has gone from half the revenue of the original gangster of streaming to double. Six months ago Netflix was worth more than $300 billion — today it’s at $80 billion. And at its last valuation event, ByteDance was valued at, wait for it … $360 billion.

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Πηγή: profgalloway.com

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