ByteDance, which is the parent company of TikTok, has reportedly started selling the AI technology of the short-video making app to other companies.
According to the Financial Times, the company has launched a new division called BytePlus, and its sole purpose is to sell TikTok's technology to third parties. Its client list already includes US fashion app Goat, Singapore travel site WeGo, Indonesian shopping app Chilibeli, and India-based social gaming platform GamesApp.
BytePlus offers customers the chance to access the recommendation algorithm, and personalise it for their apps and customers. It also offers automated speech and text translation and real-time video effects as well as data analysis tools, according to its website.
TikTok’s recommendation algorithm is a huge part of what has made it so popular. The company explained in a blog post last year how its ‘ForYou’ feed determines what videos to serve a given user. Its recommendations are based on user interactions including which videos you like, share comment on, or create; video information, such as captions and hashtags; and device and account settings including what device you’re using, your language preferences, and your location settings.
Disputes over the video app
Over the past year and a half ByteDance and TikTok were among the China-based companies targeted by a series of executive orders from former President Trump, that sought to block China-based apps from US app stores. President Biden signed an executive order in June revoking the bans. Despite the pressure from the Trump administration, TikTok surpassed 100 million monthly users in the US last year.
The Indian government banned several apps developed by Chinese firms in 2020, including TikTok, over concerns that these apps were engaging in activities that threatened the national security and defence of the country. Last month, Nikhil Gandhi, the India Head of TikTok decided to quit.