There is no doubt that Facebook is the most famous and most prevalent social networking site, with more than two billion users, but this "beast" did not reach this point because of its advantages only;

In the journey of exclusivity and control, it swallowed most of the competing communication sites and applications such as Instagram and WhatsApp, or contained some of them such as Snapchat.

But another Chinese-origin social networking application, which Facebook did not consider, appeared out of nowhere and rose like a missile, and despite all Facebook's attempts to control it, it failed to limit the growth of the "Tik Tok" application, which Facebook fears will pull the rug out from under its feet.

Two apps story

Tik Tok is a story of two applications, not one, so before we delve into how this application has become a threat to Facebook, we have to look at that story:

In 2016, the Beijing-based Chinese company, ByteDance, launched a video-sharing social application called Douyin, and this application still exists separately in China, and the international version of it was called “Tik Tok.” When it was introduced in 2017.

Meanwhile, most Western TikTok users were primarily following the 2014 social networking service Musical.ly, a Shanghai-based Chinese social media service with a US office in Santa Monica, California.

This platform allowed users to make and share short videos (from 15 seconds to a minute), based on lip-sync with music videos, and the user could choose the accompanying music and the speed he wanted (such as: slow, normal, fast...etc), and add filters and effects he liked.

By the end of May 2017, the service had more than 200 million users, and in November of that year, Musical.lee was acquired by ByteDance and then merged into TikTok in August 2018, at the same time the Musical name was transformed. me to tik tok.

Because of the large user base from which TikTok was launched, it has become exceptionally popular, especially among the younger millennials (born between 1981 and 1996) and Generation Z (born in the mid-1990s to the end of the 2000s).

ByteDance acquired the Musical.lee service in 2017, then merged it in 2018 with Tik Tok (Reuters)

1.1 billion users

Tik Tok has - according to a statistic in January 2022 - more than 1.1 billion monthly active users, and it is expected to reach 1.8 billion users by the end of this year, according to the "Business of Apps" website.

For comparison, Facebook (founded in 2004) has 2.9 billion monthly active users, YouTube (founded in 2005) 2.2 billion, Instagram (founded in 2010) 1.4 billion, Snapchat (founded in 2011) 500 million, and Pinterest (founded in 2009) ) 480 million, and Twitter (established in 2006) 397 million.

TikTok - which was launched 6 years after Snapchat - has twice the number of its monthly active users, and it is 11 years newer than Twitter and is miles ahead of it in the number of monthly active users, and it is close to jumping over Instagram to become the third most social networking service in terms of the number of users Active monthly.

But as long as the difference between it and Facebook in the number of monthly active users is very large, why should Facebook fear it?

How can he outrun her?

minutes of use

Statistics say - according to Statista - that Tik Tok users were spending more than 960 minutes per month on the application in 2021, at a rate of 32 minutes per day, so how do we compare these numbers with Facebook and other social networking services?

According to statistics, in 2021 Facebook users were spending 33 minutes a day on the platform, with a total of 990 minutes per month, and this is a terrifying result for Facebook, as the difference between them is very small, but this is not what terrifies Facebook only!

According to the accumulated numbers, the time users spend on Facebook is shrinking little by little, and statistics about the average time users spend on social media in 2020 show that the younger generation has shifted its attention to social media other than Facebook, and that applications such as Tik Tok and Instagram will become favorites I have 'Generation Z' in the coming years.

On top of that, Facebook has lost 15 million users since 2017. That year, the average time users spent on Facebook was 39 minutes per day, and in 2018, it dropped to 36 minutes, then it dropped to 33 minutes in 2019, before climbing to 35. In 2020, it drops again to 33 minutes in 2021.

On the other hand, after the first year of its launch - that is, in 2018, the users of Tik Tok spent 22 minutes per day, and in 2019 they spent 25 minutes per day, then the number of minutes jumped to 35 minutes in 2020, before declining in 2021 (such as Most social networking apps) to 31 minutes per day.

These numbers mean that even if Facebook has the largest user base, the time spent by these users on the application is constantly shrinking on an annual basis in favor of other applications, especially Tik Tok.

Tik Tok was the seventh most downloaded application on smart devices during the second decade of this century (Reuters)

snowball

Facebook knows that Tik Tok has become like a snowball;

It rolled into the most popular apps in 2019, 2020 and 2021, downloading 718 million times in 2019, and 978 million times in 2020, and even as it declined in 2021 as a result of India banning it, it was downloaded 656 million times that year. Most downloaded apps.

For comparison, according to Apptopia, in 2021 the Facebook application was downloaded 416 million times, so this application - with the largest user base - ranked third after Instagram, which came second in the number of downloads in 2021. 545 million times.

Although it was launched in 2017, Tik Tok was the seventh most downloaded application during the second decade of this century, and it was downloaded over its lifetime more than two billion times through the Google Play and App Store;

Therefore, it is considered a real competitor to remove Facebook from the throne of social networking.

Why do users love Tik Tok?

The Tik Tok service is based on sharing small video clips, with a number of effects and filters applied to them that make it funny, but what is special about that compared to Facebook?

The Tik Tok application is easy to use, and allows the user to pass away what he does not like, and he has an algorithm that quickly adapts to what the user wants to see, and this actually happens in less than 5 minutes, according to the “inc.com” website, and this is of course A kind of artificial intelligence that Facebook is also trying to do, but when it comes to its effectiveness, TikTok is far superior to Facebook.

Moreover, Facebook is also full of ads, and although they are not annoying or obnoxious like YouTube ads, they float on the phone screen and compete to attract the user’s attention. Tik Tok does not force users to watch ads and allows them to deal with them as they deal with content. If you are not satisfied with what you are watching within a split second, just scroll the ad away.

Tik Tok attracts young content publishers and most of its users are millennials and "Generation Z" (European)

Official attempts to curb Tik Tok

The great rise of Tik Tok and the turnout of young people and adolescents on it drew attention to it, and some countries began attempts to ban it for various reasons.

In 2019, the application was banned in India and Pakistan for “ethical” reasons, before they re-allowed it, then India again banned it in June 2020, along with a group of Chinese applications in response to the escalation of tension between India and China, before the ban became Always in January 2021.

In the United States, former US President Donald Trump tried in 2020 to ban Tik Tok on the pretext that it might be used to collect personal information about its American users for the benefit of China, and saw it as a threat to national security, and issued a decision to prevent new downloads of the application, but in the end Trump’s attempts were frozen with access to President Joe Biden to power.

As for the latest attempts to eliminate Tik Tok, it came on July 1, when Republican Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Commissioner Brendan Carr urged Apple and Google to ban the Tik Tok application from their app stores, indicating that it is a “wolf in a lamb’s robe.” It collects sensitive data about its users in the United States that can be accessed in Beijing.

The commissioner asked Apple and Google to remove Tik Tok from their app stores by July 8, and in the event that this was not implemented, they should justify the reasons and explain why they did not comply with his request by July 24.

Carr based his accusations on TikTok's admission - according to a report by "Bloomberg", that some of the company's employees outside the United States can access information about American users.

And that was in a letter sent by its CEO, Xu Zi Shu, to 9 members of the US Senate, in response to several questions raised by the members to the company, but he stressed, "None of this information is shared with the Chinese government, and it is subject to strong controls and protection protocols."

US officials see Tik Tok as a national security risk and that it collects user data and communicates it to the Chinese government (Shutterstock)

Facebook seeks to eliminate Tik Tok

Facebook (a subsidiary of the parent company "Meta") felt the danger of Tik Tok since its launch, and began its attempts to eliminate or even curb it.

In 2020, Meta pushed one of the largest consulting firms in the United States to organize a nationwide campaign to turn people against TikTok by publishing opinion pieces and letters to editors in major news outlets in the country, and promoting questionable stories about TikTok's trends. The alleged, which had already originated on Facebook, paid local political journalists and politicians to help it take down the app that overnight became its biggest competitor.

According to the Washington Post, which obtained information about that campaign from internal emails that were leaked to it, employees of Targeted Victory sought to undermine TikTok through a media and lobbying campaign. The country portrays the rapidly growing application as a danger to children and American society.

Another major step in Meta's defensive strategy to fight Tik Tok was based on trying to "destroy" the opponent by imitating its most prominent characteristics in its applications;

In August 2020, it launched the "Reels" feature, which allows sharing short videos on the Instagram and Facebook applications.

And the company began paying content creators for what they publish on “Rails”, as does the YouTube application, in an attempt to attract famous influencers on communication sites, and thus increase the number of users and views, to curb the danger of Tik Tok, which does not pay - so far - much to publishers on its platform.

Will Facebook succeed in marginalizing or eliminating Tik Tok, or is it a losing battle since its inception after many people see Facebook as an “old fashion” that does not keep pace with the spirit of the times?

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