Dec 7, 2019

Report: TikTok weighs direct shopping for users

Photo: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

TikTok may add a direct shopping tool for users as it secures big advertisers like Walmart, Nike and Asos, the Financial Times reports.

The big picture: Blake Chandlee, vice president of global business solutions for TikTok, told FT that the app's current growth stage is "very similar" to when he joined Facebook in 2007.

  • The average TikTok user spends roughly "250 to 300 seconds on the app per session" — nearly double the amount of time spent on Instagram, a senior advertising executive told FT.
  • More young teenagers use TikTok than Facebook, data from the Morning Consult shows — but Snapchat and Instagram still have more Gen Z users than TikTok.

Yes, but: "TikTok offers less granular detail on who its users are," FT's Hannah Murphy writes. "It is not a conventional social network, where groups of people can be graphed and segmented, but a service that broadcasts clips to its audience."

Go deeper: TikTok's rise lands it in critics' crosshairs

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Army bans TikTok from government-owned phones

Photo: Chesnot/Getty Images

The Army has banned its soldiers from using TikTok on government-owned phones, calling the Chinese-owned video app a cyber threat, reports Military.com.

Why it matters: The move, coupled with the Navy's similar decision earlier this month, highlights how seriously the military and government are taking TikTok's potential national security implications.

Go deeperArrowDec 31, 2019

WSJ: TikTok wants to move out of China

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

TikTok's parent company, ByteDance, is weighing its options for building TikTok's global headquarters outside of China, the Wall Street Journal (subscription) reports.

The big picture: The video-sharing app is likely trying to distance itself from its Chinese ownership amid concerns around its user data and possible censorship on issues deemed off-limits by the Chinese Communist Party.

Go deeperArrowDec 28, 2019

TikTok chief delays Washington charm offensive

Photo: Lionel Bonaventure/AFP via Getty Images

TikTok head Alex Zhu canceled meetings with lawmakers who have raised concerns about the popular video-sharing app in Washington this week.

The big picture: The cancellation is fueling a fresh round of criticism from lawmakers who have already called out the Beijing-owned company over issues ranging from censorship to children's privacy.

Go deeperArrowDec 10, 2019