Bytedance, best known for its flagship news aggregator platform Toutiao, is one of China's hottest tech start-ups and was valued at over US$20 billion in a funding round earlier this year, Reuters reported in August.
The Musical.ly app allows users to share 15 second videos of lip syncing popular songs and making amusing faces.
Besides Musical.ly's passionate user base, Bytedance will get inroads into Hollywood with the acquisition: Musical.ly has deals with Viacom, NBCUniversal and Hearst Magazines Digital Media, which have developed short-form shows for the video platform. The app's cofounders, Alex Zhu and Louis Yang, will join Bytedance and will continue running Musical.ly as an independent platform.
The deal is expected to boost ByteDance's presence overseas, adding Musical.ly's around 100 million users worldwide - according to media reports - to Toutiao's 120 million, most of whom are white-collar workers in smaller cities in China. The Chinese internet conglomerate also also owns several other short-form video apps for user-generated content.
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But artificial-intelligence technology will certainly come into play.
Bytedance operates a suite of products that provide creators and users with a content experience powered by machine and deep learning algorithms.
For now, users shouldn't expect any huge changes for Musical.ly.
ByteDance is the company behind Chinese media startup Jinri Toutiao. Bytedance announced the deal without giving any financial details. The company recently bought aggregation platform News Republic from Cheetah Mobile, which is also an investor in Musical.ly, for Dollars 86.6 million.
It added to the push this week by acquiring aggregation platform News Republic from Cheetah Mobile Inc (獵豹移動), which is also an investor in Musical.ly, for US$86.6 million. This summer, Reddit raised $200 million in new funding, giving it a valuation of $1.8 billion.
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