A spokesperson for the popular short video platform TikTok confirmed that the company fired some employees of its global business solutions team this week. The layoffs, mostly in North America, are part of a restructuring of the company’s sales division. There are reports that employees in the department are mainly responsible for advertising sales and maintaining advertiser relationships for brand activities on TikTok. Recently, TikTok employees working in departments such as brand strategy and advertising operations broke the news on LinkedIn that they were fired. An anonymous employee who was fired said they were aware of at least 20 employees who were fired this week. A TikTok spokesman declined to say how many employees were affected by the layoffs during the restructuring.
TikTok fired employees lament
“I didn’t expect this to happen,” the fired employee said. “Especially given TikTok’s revenue from advertising last year, it’s a bit sudden.”
A TikTok spokesperson claims the move is to allow global business solutions team members to focus more on specific verticals such as fashion, beauty, consumer goods or entertainment. The company claims the layoffs are part of a broader effort by the company to take a comprehensive look at the company’s organizational structure and gain insight into where the company can continue to operate effectively. At the same time, the company also told laid-off employees that they could apply for other internal positions through TikTok’s job portal. However, these employees will not get any preferential treatment. Even if they apply for another opening, they will get the same treatment as every other applicant.
TikTok executives expect the ad business to remain strong despite a general downturn in the tech and ad industries. Blake Chandlee, the company’s head of global business solutions, said in June that the platform has seen neither a slowdown in the ad market nor some of the headwinds other companies are facing.
“I’ve heard the ad market will slow by anywhere from 2% to 6%, but we haven’t seen it yet,” Chandley said. “We don’t see the headwinds that others see.”
Other startups and advertising-focused companies have been laying off staff or slowing hiring of late. Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram, froze hiring in May, citing plans to re-prioritize different businesses. Snap, the parent company of photo-based social platform Snapchat, issued a profit warning in its earnings report that same month, dragging down advertising and social media stocks.
Microsoft and ByteDance parent company ByteDance collaborate on an AI project, KubeRay
According to CNBC, despite the increasingly fierce technology competition between China and the United States, the two sides are also conducting various cooperation. For example, Microsoft and ByteDance have now collaborated on an artificial intelligence project called KubeRay. This project aims to help organizations manage and run artificial intelligence applications more efficiently.
Gizchina News of the week
Microsoft chief software engineer, Ali Kanso and ByteDance software engineer Shan Jiaxin attended the Ray Summit in San Francisco earlier this week, where they joined data scientists, machine learning experts and others interested in using open source Software, Ray.
They also gave an in-depth explanation, highlighting the progress they’ve made with interested parties so far in using Ray to create large-scale applications. They believe the software can help advance AI applications that run on multiple computers, i.e. Distributed Computing. Simply put, Ray is an open-source software that assists in running AI programs on multiple devices.
“Jiaxin and I have been working on this open source project for about a year, and that’s the beauty of this type of community,” said Kanso, who has a PhD in computer science. “Although we’re not in the same company, we meet every week and work together every week.”
Shan Jiaxin, who previously worked as a software engineer at Amazon Web Services, currently lives in the Seattle area, close to Microsoft’s headquarters, according to LinkedIn.
TikTok targets local content users
According to recent reports, TikTok is testing a new “Nearby” feature which displays local content to users. The current testing scope only includes some users in Southeast Asia. Some analysts point out that this test function may compete with similar functions on platforms such as Google. The new feature allows creators to add location tags to their videos, according to reports. A TikTok spokesperson claims the ability to add location tags is gradually rolling out to creators. When asked if the Nearby feature would only show location-tagged videos, the spokesperson said it was too early to tell. At the moment, the feature comes with limited functionality.
In addition, the “nearby” feature is more beneficial to local advertisers. They can use it to promote ads for their businesses and services and increase local advertising for local products. TikTok claims that this beta is subject to change and nothing is certain until the official launch.
TikTok is known for its superior recommendation algorithm capabilities. The addition of the “Nearby” feature will give it the ability to display more direct and relevant content to users. Notably, Snapchat’s Snap Map and Instagram’s searchable maps also allow users to more easily discover popular nearby places. Both products provide users with a way to find local content and discover nearby places.
The TikTok feature is paired with the company’s already successful recommendation algorithm. This will provide new possibilities for TikTok to enter the local life track, but it will also affect platforms such as Owl Travel and Google. 40% of young users turn to TikTok or Instagram instead of Google Maps when looking for a place to eat. If TikTok rolls out its “Nearby” feature, Google could feel the pain.