The story of TikTok has been told in many ways. Some frame it as a Douyin clone, others focus on the way teens (and so many adults) spend hours on it each day, flitting from one clip to the next.
But few have charted the moves that transformed it from an app incubated in China to the cultural phenomenon that it is today. That may be because it isn’t a single story—the tale of TikTok is a combination of yarns involving ByteDance, Musical.ly, and Facebook.
There was a lot of assimilation and friction, from figuring out the cultural fit when Musical.ly was absorbed by ByteDance, to steering the global strategy of TikTok as it spread from country to country.
The latest entry in the KrASIA Connection series goes behind the scenes to unpack some of the events that transpired in these processes. It includes details about how TikTok was named, the uncertainty that ByteDance’s leadership experienced as they navigated new waters, and their views on what facing off with Facebook would involve.
Check out the article here.