What Is Mandarin for Finesse? TikTok, Perhaps?

June 17, 2022

I read “TikTok Exec: We’re Not a Social Network Like Facebook. We’re an Entertainment Platform.” That is an interesting way to describe the short video service, monetization platform, and data gobbling system. TikTok may not want to position itself to be a social network. But Facebook (and Alphabet Google YouTube DeepMind) sure wants to be just like TikTok. One difference is that the possible links to a certain beefy nation state are not desirable.

The write up presents the TikTok positioning or what I call shape shifting finesse tactic. The write up presents a few interesting factoids and assertions; to wit:

  1. [Facebook] “will likely run into trouble if it tries to copy TikTok, and will end up offering an inferior experience to users and brands.”
  2. TikTok “did not fully embrace or see … how social this format [TikTok’s short form videos] could be.
  3. “History is not on Zuckerberg’s side.”
  4. TikTok has “an array of competitors across the world, including businesses in e-commerce and live streaming.”
  5. TikTok has not experienced an advertising slow down.

I am not sure about my enthusiasm for these observations. Perhaps more attention on the link to a certain nation state, data collection, and the use case for a nation state to have a real time feed of who, what, when, where, and similar data might be useful.

I mean “we’re not like” statements are dry runs for US government committee hearings. I can say that I am not like a small 1962 VW bug. What does that provide? Not much.

Stephen E Arnold, June 17, 2022


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