Earlier this week US President Trump has released an executive order regarding ongoing talks on banning TikTok. The document indicates that all transactions between US companies and TikTok must be banned within the next 45 days. The large media company owning TikTok, ByteDance, is now scrambling to choose which actions to do next – to sell or to close down. There had been multiple reports that Microsoft had also been in talks with ByteDance. It is reported that the company is eyeing the purchase of the TikTok US operations. So who is it going to be – Twitter or Microsoft?
The Possibility of a TikTok and Twitter Merger
TikTok has gained even more following after the lockdown protocols were imposed throughout the country. The social media platform entertains its users and brings out talents that are hidden from plain view. However, Twitter has gained a consistent multi-million following for almost a decade now. This is why there are continuous murmurings about the possibility of this merger. Experts can’t stop asking, why? Right now it is unclear why Twitter is considering buying TikTok. There could be a variety of reasons. Maybe it is to create a new social media platform featuring both capabilities of Twitter and TikTok. It may also be to incorporate TikTok’s video-sharing capabilities on Twitter.
Sadly, Twitter has not publicly addressed that they are truly discussing a merger with TikTok. Up until now, Twitter has declined to comment.
Really, But Microsoft and TikTok?
Hearing about Twitter buying off TikTok seems natural. But, Microsoft eyeing to buy a large social media platform? That is quite a surprising move because unlike Twitter, Microsoft is no social media expert. What is crazy about this is that Microsoft has confirmed publicly that they are in talks with ByteDance for a possible sale.
It is widely known that the social media platform is the largest of its kind and might be the only one that has sustained its popularity for a long period of time. In the US alone, TikTok has millions of users that range from people who are on TikTok just to watch videos to highly monetized influencers. Many companies have also used TikTok for paid advertising and they have gained significant sales throughout the years.
A number of experts are trying to question why Microsoft is interested in buying TikTok. Maybe it is to penetrate a newer venture and there is no better way than to start with a popular video-sharing app such as TikTok. It may also be to gain TikTok’s IP for Microsoft’s marketing of games. One of the most likely, but the least likely to succeed, is to run TikTok just as it is and maintain its features until a merger is complete.
What buying Tiktok Could Mean
For the Users
There is an upside to the possibility that Microsoft buying out Tiktok and it is the continuity of the social media platform. This is not the first time that users had to deal with a social media platform’s change of ownership. In fact, Instagram was bought off by a large media company from its original owners. The users survived that well. The downside – it is possible that services will be affected. Bug fixes and updates may be unavailable until a merger is complete. It is also possible that customer support will be unavailable. In this case, with the decrease in user experience pushing towards a large unfollowing from users. Because of this, there are possibilities that monetization for influencers will go down. The ripple effect goes on.
The social media platform, Twitter, already has a large following and the purchase of TikTok is not necessarily to boost their sales and market. Maybe, they are considering a “combination” but not really to run TikTok as a separate platform. The video-sharing aspect may create a tackier Twitter, but could still be enjoyed by millions of users. There could be a mixed reaction there.
Many experts are still wondering why Microsoft is eyeing a purchase of the TikTok app. Firstly, the traditional culture of the Microsoft crowd consisted of mostly Millenials is a different mix to the bacchanal TikTok market made up of a younger and more hip crowd. There could be a possibility that Microsoft is trying to penetrate that market so that their future products may be sellable on a wider scale. Also, they may be simply trying to penetrate the social media market and make TikTok their own.
Out of all the stakeholders in this scenario, TikTok is pretty much on the losing end. A sale could mean a multi-million price tag. However, if TikTok was maintained for a longer time ByteDance might be able to earn more than the multi-million amount. Also, there could be some political risks here since it is a multi-national acquisition.