TikTok and ByteDance’s business strategy and rise to fame is a unique and interesting one. Gaining popularity in China, then buying out the competition, lead to TikTok becoming the most popular social media app in the world.
Musical.ly, launching in 2014, followed the short-form video premise pioneered by Twitter owned app Vine in 2013. Musical.ly’s popularity along with a lack of resources from Twitter, lead to the death of Vine in 2016.
TikTok’s parent company ByteDance launched their first video sharing app in 2016, Douyin. Douyin is the Chinese equivalent TikTok was based on when it was brought to the rest of the world in 2017.
ByteDance’s dominance in China with Douyin gave the company the resources it needed to buy Musical.ly for $1 billion in 2017. ByteDance would then merge TikTok and Musical.ly in 2018, giving them a monopoly over the short-form video market and allowing it to become the most popular social media app in the world today.