Zhang Yiming – CEO of ByteDance – The company who owns TikTok. TikTok was already banned from India, losing over 200 Million users overnight. And then Donald Trump also publicly threatened to ban TikTok. We are looking into TikTok, we may be banning TikTok or we may be doing some of the other things we have couple of options. A lot of things are happening, let’s see what happens. For TikTok, there was bad news everywhere. Everyone had the same question- Can they Trust TikTok? Should they trust TikTok? People were telling Zhang a spy, traitor, imposter and many more.
Interesting in spite of all these things, Business was growing at such a high speed that you can never think of. You probably must not be knowing but Bytedance’s revenue was more than Twitter, Stripe, Airbnb, Shopify, Spotify, Snapchat combined. TikTok launched in 2016 but could anyone think that within 5 years this company will cross worldwide 3 Billion downloads. For reference let me tell you, WhatsApp has only worldwide 2.2 Billion downloads only. Many of us have used TikTok but the question arises what we know about its parent company – ByteDance? How much do we know? Have you ever thought that how a simple Chinese video-making app captured the whole world? We all think that TikTok is nothing but a cringe lip-syncing app. But the reality is different.
The question is how Bytedance shifted from China’s 4 bedroom apartment where electricity was not proper to a Global Empire? It is now controlling the world’s social media technology and politics. Many people don’t know the inside story to TikTok. This story is so fascinating and inspiring that you can’t think of it. If this is the case then why do American Tech companies hate TikTok? This video is brought to you by KukuFM, about which we will talk later. So the story starts in 2012 when Zhang Yiming started ByteDance with his friends. At that time no one knew that ByteDance would become such a big Global Empire. After 12 months, Zhang Yiming made 12 different mobile apps with his friends.
The problem was only one – The applications made by them would work in China but were never used Worldwide. This is also b’coz China operates on different internet. In China YouTube, Facebook, WhatsApp etc are banned. Due to China’s exclusive Internet, Chinese companies were unable to do business globally. But ByteDance made something which if launched globally then it would be bigger than Facebook. The question is where and how it started? The first application made by ByteDance was Toutiao which means headlines. It started as a news application but then Toutiao built a powerful recommendation algorithm. After this people got tailored news.
If someone is interested in sports he will see good sports news if he is interested in politics then he will get interesting political news. Zhang Yiming said ‘We want to become the information platform that understands you most and matches with your requirements.’ Similarly how Facebook and Instagram match you with perfect ads. OLA and Uber match you with the perfect driver. Similarly, Toutiao’s work was to match you with perfect information. After sometime Toutiao became very popular. Its average user time was 15 min before but now changed to 75 mins. The question is why it all happened? Did people started taking more interest in news?.
Well, actually this was not the case. Toutiao’s algorithm now had so much data that they knew what will a person like. And due to this thing only they increased user time. Using this simple idea Zhang made something that not only changed his company but the whole world. Presently ByteDance knows more about you than yourself. The question is How is this possible? So if you don’t know then ByteDance tracks everything from on your phone. Your every tap, your every pause, your every swipe, your photos, apps, bank details. ByteDance has all of your data.
Bytedance’s apps using this data know more about you. After this, they provide you with a personalized feed which is very very addictive. After Bytedance’s Toutiao’s success, many companies started copying it. After this Zhang realized that he need to do something different. Otherwise, the companies which have more budget than ByteDance will destroy them. So Zhang’s team started collecting consumers’ insight. And you know what they found something very very interesting. They noticed that people like to watch videos but as attention span is decreasing so people are shifting from these videos. People’s decreasing attention span was capitalized by ByteDance very very intelligently.
So ByteDance didn’t do anything. Their Toutiao was already popular, they took Toutiao’s algorithm and added in the Chinese video app. TikTok was launched worldwide in 2017, we all know this. But did you know, before TikTok ByteDance launched another version of TikTok named Douyin? Douyin was TikTok’s Chinese version, many things were the same except for some things. In Douyin there was a positivity section where you would find that videos promoted Chinese Government. Douyin had a special advanced facial recognization feature also. Through which you can easily go to their videos by taping their face. ByteDance smartly used Chinese people’s insecurity about fairness and thus designed the app such that you would look fair.
But in TikTok and Douyin, one thing was very very common – The thing was their Algorithm. Many less people know but TikTok’s algorithm is very different from other social media apps. The question is what makes it so unique? So in other social media apps, their biggest dependency is your actual social network. If you have less friends in real life then there are high chances that your friends on social media will be limited. But if you have more friends in real life then you will definitely connect with them on social media. All social media apps Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram etc cannot be used in isolation. That means if you don’t have friends then you probably won’t be using these apps. But that was not the case with TikTok.
So understand this thing very carefully. Friend, Follow, Search or Subscribe – you don’t have to do anything from this on TikTok which reduces Effort Friction. Open the app, Swipe and keep consuming content. And as you will keep consuming more content, the algorithm would keep getting better. TikTok precisely monitors that how much time you are spending on which kind of video. What kind of video you are liking and which kind of not. And it keeps showing you that kind of content. But still, TikTok has one thing which makes it different from other apps. And the thing is its Short Video Type Content.
I know you feel be feeling weird hearing it but see how powerful is this thing. More the content short people will consume more content in less time And so more data in less time which makes the algorithm very very powerful. Let us understand through an example. Suppose you come on YouTube and spend 10 mins on YouTube. There are chances that you will hardly see one video in that time or max 2-3. But if you spend that 10 mins on TikTok, there are high chances that you would see 15-20 videos. And so the algorithm will always get more data than YouTube. You can easily stop using Facebook or Instagram after 1-2 hrs.
B’coz the content there is generated from your social circle but that is not the case with TikTok. B’coz the content here is not dependent on your social circle and This forms a never ending scroll effect which tricks your brain such that you never realize when to stop swiping. Douyin was so smartly designed that if you clicked on its back button then it would not close, it will shift you to some other video. You need to at least click that button twice to exit from the app. And by default we don’t click any button 2 times. And b’coz of this people got addicted to Douyin app and the algorithm got more data. I know you would be thinking that how these companies know small details about our brains? Well, the answer of this question is hidden in Why Don’t Students Like School? Book.
This book will tell you that even if we all people are big now but still why we take decisions like kids in some situations. So you can understand how companies use this psychology to keep you hooked with their products. I know someone will hardly read this book. So to save your time, money and energy – You can listen to this book’s summary on KukuFM. Not only this you can find Brain Rules, How to Talk to Anyone and Master your Emotion And many more psychology books which will teach you a lot about human psychology audiobooks of these books. KukuFM will celebrate Holi with you with its colorful offers. KukuFM has brought 50% off sale. But let me tell you in this sale where you will get KukuFM’s yearly subscription of 399 Rs in 199 Rs,.
This sale is valid upto 20th March only. So why are you waiting, Link in the description, Use HOLI50 coupon code, and with 50% off Don’t just celebrate the festival of colors but also the festival of knowledge. Link in the description and limited offer. Any algorithm in the world only works if it has very much data. And excess data comes from excess users. You even make a highly addictive algorithm but it is useful without data. Data comes from people. When TikTok was launched they wanted people on their platform and to bring people they followed a very simple process.
1) Cutout the Entry Barrier You need good equipments to work on YouTube. You need a good camera, mic, you should know to make thumbnails, write titles and many more things. And b’coz of all these things it is comparatively more hard to grow on YouTube. But you don’t need all these to make TikTok. To make TikTok you only need a simple mobile phone that’s all. And due to this many people started using TikTok. And then created many challenges on TikTok, and so the requirement to create original content was gone. Just easily replicate those challenges and you are good to go.
Anybody could come to TikTok, replicate any challenge, and create content. No need of Orignal Content. When users started increasing, TikTok slightly manipulated its algorithm. And started giving fame to TikTok creators. On side people were complaining that it is hard to become successful on YouTube, you need many resources. On the other side, TikTok was making popular people just by lip-syncing. And due to this many people came to this platform in very less time. But there was a problem. As the entry barrier was too low, the quality of the content was decreasing.
And to solve this TikTok brought top influencers on TikTok by giving money. So they produce so much content that nonsense type of content hides somewhere in the platform. Top influencer’s content should be more visible to users. TikTok gave money to influencers, influencers came to TikTok, TikTok changed their algorithm a little bit and then influencers became very famous on TikTok. TikTok didn’t stop there, they gave talent managers to top creators which helped them to make that content that will work more. Interestingly, before doing these things worldwide they tried in China first using Douyin which is China’s TikTok. These strategies were very successful with Douyin, so finally, in 2017, ByteDance launched its international version named TikTok. All companies took ByteDance very lightly.
None of them expected that Bytedance will approach employees from FaceBook, Google, Snapchat, Will give money to influencers and spend too much money on marketing and create an app that will control the whole world. Well the fault is not of companies. TikTok went from nowhere to everywhere very very fast. The question is How did it happen? So to understand this we need to understand why Douyin became so popular in China? In China, ByteDance collaborated with phone shop owners. Here phone shop owners remove packed phones from boxes, installed Douyin app and seal pack the box again. So whoever buys the phone gets Douyin app preinstalled.
When it came to international expansion, they said the videos you make on TikTok share it to all social media handles. Well but Why??? Let me remind you that in TikTok videos there is TikTok’s watermark. That means share your videos on any platform, TikTok gets free publicity. ByteDance also made many fake accounts from which they reposted many videos. And as they had millions of money to invest on ads so acquiring users was not a big task for them. But interestingly, TikTok’s ads never looked like advertisements. B’coz TikTok’s ads were made from user-generated content. That means I made a video on TikTok and TikTok used this video in their advertisement for their publicity.
And then TikTok entered India and targeted highly populated cities where CPM(Cost Per Mile) which means how much money for 1000 views is less. And ran their advertisements there. They approached many micro-influencers and asked them to come to TikTok and we will make you star. And they also did it. Not only this, they started acquiring local companies in the countries they operated. TikTok had a special team to keep track of people that come on their platform should look more beautiful. So people don’t become conscious and freely make content. Now crores of people started to use TikTok, everything was going amazingly but from here all the problems started. India banned TikTok and other countries also banned TikTok by telling TikTok is stealing people’s data.
I know one question would be definitely coming into your mind that All companies do data collection then why other companies were not banned? Why only TikTok? So in China, Chines Government can ask for their company’s data anytime and TikTok has the world’s abundant data. And also any Chinese Government can take over any Chinese company. That means Chinese Government can take control of anything. And so many countries feared that Chinese Government will do that and all the data will go to Chinese Government. And if it happens then it would become very easy for Chinese Government to take control over the world. Why? B’coz they have DATA.
And so at that time, US President Donald Trump said that – TikTok is a spy to the Chinese Government. US said that if they want to keep doing their operations in US then they need to sell out it to some US company. TikTok agreed and Microsoft was going to buy it. But then Donald Trump started making various demands that were rejected to get fulfilled by TikTok. And this deal never happened. Many less people would agree but TikTok was a MasterStroke. Zhang made his platform so advertiser-friendly that everyone wanted to invest in TikTok. TikTok’s ads were user-generated content. That means not much money was spent to make those ads.
The ads looked similar to content but the only difference was that AD was written in a small bar on top which very less people saw. Many people didn’t know that they were watching content or ad. TikTok had so much data that they could easily charge high prices from advertisers. Infact, TikTok created a Creator Market Place in their app where any advertiser could book any creator to promote their content. And on TikTok’s chines version Douyin they added an E-Commerce feature. Suppose you saw a video on Douyin which had a pastry in it. Then you will start getting ads for pastry delivery services. In reality, TikTOk is not an app but a powerful surveillance business that has the world’s abundant data. And due to this after getting banned from many countries it is still able to control news, politics, technology.
Human Psychology is such an interesting thing that using this these companies do lots of things with us. I suggest that on KukuFM, Brain Rules and Master Your Emotions – these 2 audiobooks are a must. You will get to learn many interesting things about human psychology. By these, you can know how these companies sell products to you using psychology. I genuinely want you to listen to summaries of these books. The link is given in description, don’t forget to use HOLI50 coupon code. And then you can enjoy KukuFM’s yearly subscription with 50% off. Do you know that that a man who was rejected by banks, companies, and even his employees How did that man built 6000 Crs company within 5 years?.
Today Boat Lifestyle is the world’s 5th largest wearable brand. The question is how Aman Gupta did all these in just 5 years? You will know after watching right side video…