As TikTok faces a potential ban in the US they’re looking to Facebook as part of the cause. Meanwhile their primary competitor has filed a legal complaint against them.
Until the last month it seemed that TikTok were in an unbeatable position: They had taken the world by storm with over a billion downloads across the world, their short video format was becoming so popular that it was gaining the envy of huge platforms like Instagram, and new partnerships were making them a profitable platform for creators and musicians.
Now things are looking a lot more questionable for the app and it’s Beijing-based creators ByteDance. Following a nationwide ban in India, Trump is now pursuing a potential ban for the app in the US – one of their biggest markets.
In monumental antitrust hearings in Congress, which are questioning the business practices of many of tech’s biggest players, TikTok’s CEO is pointing to Facebook for supposed targeted attacks to drive a competitor out of the region.
With the recent launch of Reels on their photo and video sharing platform Instagram, it’s hard to see how Facebook can’t have been inspired by TikTok’s success for the new feature. TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer says that Facebook’s attacks on them are “disguised as patriotism and designed to put an end to our very presence in the US”.
In a public blog post, Mayer claims that whilst the tech industry is receiving justified scrutiny that they have been unfairly targeted in particular because of their Chinese origins. Mayer writes: “We accept this and embrace the challenge of giving peace of mind through greater transparency and accountability.”
Unfortunately, scrutiny from Congress isn’t the sole source of woes for the huge app right now. TikTok are currently facing a lawsuit from an incredibly similar video-shorts app, Triller. Triller have submitted a legal complaint to a Texas federal court.
Triller’s complaint accuses TikTok and Bytedance of infringing upon their US patent for “Systems and methods for creating music videos synchronized with an audio track.” Their patent, filed in 2015 and approved 2 years later, basically covers the concept that has made TikTok – and simultaneously Triller – so popular.
TikTok haven’t yet responded to the lawsuit and it’s unsure whether it will be a success as of yet. What is certain is that Triller are in a much better position with the music industry. The US-based app has deals with major labels and chart topping artists and is at it’s core a music and video app, rather than a video app with music capabilities.
Since TikTok was banned in India, Triller’s downloads have shot up from 1 million to 40 million. The app’s Senior Vice-President, Abbos Roohparvar told Indian Express: “We are an American company and we have very strict rules, regulations on local, state, and federal law that we must abide by. The only data we collect is music taste, the type of content you like.”