Twitter has had talks about a possible ‘combination’ with TikTok according to The Wall Street Journal, who says despite the tip “It is unclear whether Twitter will pursue a deal with TikTok, which would face significant challenges. A deal would involve TikTok’s U.S. operations”.
Microsoft is still considered the frontrunner to acquire TikTok since it emerged that the Trump administration was orchestrating a US company takeover of at least the Chinese app’s US operations.
TikTok faces a 15 September US ban unless it can find a US suitor. Twitter, while its interest is seemingly confirmed, is an outside bidder simply because of its small size. With a market valuation of $29bn, it does not have the might of Microsoft’s estimated $1.6tn and could not acquire TikTok without going into serious debt.
TikTok’s US operations are likely to be valued into the “tens of billions”, according to the WSJ.
It’s unclear what a combination of Twitter and TikTok would look like. Twitter might want to harness the power and reach of TikTok to a much younger and more diverse demographic than is using Twitter, but the power of TikTok lies in its brand. It’d be hard to see how Twitter could consume TikTok’s tech into its own product without keeping the brand.
The move for TikTok is a little rich coming from Twitter, who shut down the popular video looping app Vine in 2016 after buying it in 2012.