TikTok left Instagram behind in India, admits Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

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New Delhi | October 3, 2019 6:03 PM

Facebook CEO also mentioned that WhatsApp payments testing in India, however it remains unclear as to when the it will be fully roll out

TikTok has left behind Instagram in India, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg admitted as he responded in an internal question and answer sessions, which has been leaked online as audio and text, reported The Verge.

The full transcript quotes Zuckerberg on views on Libra, TikTok, testifying before other governments, brain-computer interface and the idea of breaking up tech giants by by US Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren and other other topics.

Zuckerberg taking as a good sport too shared the link of the full transcript on his Facebook page, while noting that “even though it was meant to be internal rather than public, now that it’s out there, you can check it out if you’re interested in seeing an unfiltered version of what I’m thinking and telling employees…”

In a response to a question about TikTok’s popularity among teens and now the company plans to take this, he acknowledged that TikTok grew past Instagram in India.

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He was quoted as saying, “TikTok, which is built by this company Beijing ByteDance, is really the first consumer internet product built by one of the Chinese tech giants that is doing quite well around the world. It’s starting to do well in the US, especially with young folks. It’s growing really quickly in India. I think it’s past Instagram now in India in terms of scale. So yeah, it’s a very interesting phenomenon.”

He also noted that TikTok was pretty much what’s the Explore Tab on Instagram does, saying, that TikTok was like “Explore for stories, and that were the whole app.”

In dealing with TikTok, Zuckerberg assured that Facebook has an app named Lasso that is rolling out into countries such as Mexico first, and then Facebook would see and try whether the Lasso app can compete with TikTok in countries where the app has already very big.

“We’re trying to first see if we can get it to work in countries where TikTok is not already big before we go and compete with TikTok in countries where they are big,” he was quoted as saying

In June 2019, TikTok claimed that it had 120 million monthly active customers in India while Sensor Tower said the platform had more than one billion downloads globally. Instagram, on the other hand, is said to have roughly 70 million users in India behind United States and Brazil.

Notably, TikTok faced its own sets of challenges in the country.

Earlier in April this year, Madras High court ordered the government to ban its downloads, as it felt that TikTok was encouraging pornography and making children vulnerable to sexual predators, This prompted Apple and Google to remove TikTok from their Indian app stores.

However, late in April, the ban was reversed in a much-needed relief to Beijing-headquartered ByteDance Technology Co which said that it suffered $500,000 daily loss and risking over 250 jobs, as per a Reuters report in April 2019.

Meanwhile, Zuckerberg in the session also noted that Stories in Instagram was rapidly becoming the primary source of people consuming content on Instagram and also talked of new changes in Instagram in a bid to take on TikTok. Notably, stories were also rolled out on WhatsApp as well.

“We’re taking a number of approaches with Instagram, including making it so that Explore is more focused on stories, which is increasingly becoming the primary way that people consume content on Instagram, as well as a couple of other things there,” he was quoted as saying in The Verge report.

Speaking about the breakup of tech giants, he said they would “win the legal challenge” if Warren gets elected, however, he admitted his reluctance in having a “ major lawsuit against our own government.”

Facebook CEO also mentioned that WhatsApp payments testing in India, however it remains unclear as to when it will fully roll out.


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