The Strategist

Bloomberg: Facebook nearly bought TikTok back in 2016

11/14/2019 - 09:47

Three years ago, Facebook was negotiating purchase of the video service, but declined the deal, Bloomberg writes. As a result, the new owner of the application turned it into TikTok social network, which has gained popularity among teenagers from around the world.

Back in 2016, Facebook spent several months negotiating purchase application, which was later bought by the owner of TikTok, writes Bloomberg with reference to sources familiar with the issue.

According to one of the agency’s interlocutors, Facebook did not purchase the video service for two reasons. The company was frightened by the difficulties that might arise due to the purchase of the Chinese service, as well as problems with compliance with the American law on protecting children's privacy on the Internet. The last concern was caused by the young audience of the application.

Negotiations began after CEO of Facebook-owned Instagram social network Kevin Systrom visited Shanghai and met with the founders of, the same source said. Later, Systrom offered Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to buy a video service, but the billionaire did not dare to sign the deal. According to the source, at that time the growth of, which was also popular among teenagers, slowed down. However, Zuckerberg did meet with at Facebook headquarters in the fall of that year, people familiar with the situation say. According to them, the negotiations were serious, but they never reached the discussion of numbers. short video sharing service was launched in 2014. It quickly became popular among teenagers, reaching almost 100 million people. In 2018, the service was bought by the Chinese company ByteDance for $ 800 million. ByteDance restarted the application under the TikTok brand. Now the number of users of the application exceeds 500 million.