One on Facebook directors has described the growth of TikTok as worrying, in the context of the war between the platforms. The Chinese service quickly became very popular, especially among young people.
In an interview at NBC, Facebook’s chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg spoke about the war that social platforms are waging to get audience engagement. Regarding TikTok she said: “In the world of technology, we compete for every minute of your attention. Every day you take your phone, I mean my kids take the phone and they are on TikTok”.
Dylan Byers, host of the Byers Market show, took the opportunity to question her about the growth of Chinese messaging. Wanting to know if the manager was worried about TikTok, she replied in the affirmative: “Of course […] they are huge, they are growing very quickly, they have reached very large numbers faster than we do have never done […] We care, we have to worry about any innovation ”. It must be said that TikTok has passed the 1.5 billion downloads mark last November. And that the app was the third most downloaded in 2019 ahead of Facebook and Instagram.
TikTok: A concern about the data
Very quickly, the discussion drifted towards the subject of personal data. But not to evoke the many scandals in which Facebook may have been entangled in recent years in this area. Indeed, it is about TikTok, the app of the Chinese company ByteDance, Sheryl Sandberg’s response was immediate. “It’s a Chinese company, if people are concerned about the data, I think there is cause for concern.
If officials of TikTok in the United States have already sought to reassure by explaining that the data of American users are stored on servers installed in the USA, TikTok has several times been accused of being spyware on behalf of the Chinese regime, notably by Steve Huffman, boss of Reddit. This is why the US military has simply banned its use.