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Popular Social Video App Musical.ly Acquired by Chinese Tech Giant

Beijing Bytedance Technology Co. remains largely unknown to most western consumers, but that may soon change as the Chinese tech giant, which has a reported worth of around $20 billion and is both the creator and distributor of the ‘Jinri Toutiao’ news aggregation app, has acquired the popular social video network Musical.ly for an undisclosed sum, although various sources cite the figure as being somewhere between $800 million and $1 billion.

Founded in Shanghai in 2014, Musical.ly soon found popularity among Western teens, allowing users to sing along karaoke-style to their favourite songs before expanding their services to include live-streaming capabilities in response the shifting consumer demands. Five months ago they expanded again, this time making deals with Viacom, Hearst and NBCU for original content provided by popular channels such as MTV and E! Entertainment; appropriate choices given the generally youthful nature of their user base.

Bytedance’s flagship app, Jinri Toutiao, aggregates news and videos from hundreds of media outlets and has according to Bloomberg become one of the world’s largest news services in the span of five years. The two apps will continue to run as separate platforms, Bytedance have said, although they are sure to each incorporate features from the other as the workforces mingle and exchange ideas for future growth.

It remains unclear exactly how this shake up will affect both companies. One thing however is certain; by combining Toutiao’s 120 million-strong user base with Musical.ly’s own 100 million, you are left with a serious player in the social media scene that is sure to give the likes of Snapchat at least some cause for concern.

Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. Currently working as Editor of Social Songbird, he hopes to one day drop that 'aspiring' prefix. Follow him @Songbird_Sam

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Popular Social Video App Musical.ly Acquired by Chinese Tech Giant Reviewed by Unknown on Monday, November 20, 2017 Rating: 5

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