How Facebook’s Zuckerberg sees competition in TikTok

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg thinks there’s time to figure out what to do about his competition, according to audio leaked on The Verge.

Speaking to his employees in July, Facebook’s leader explained he has a “number of approaches” to better compete with Chinese company ByteDance, which created video-sharing app TikTok.

TikTok has more than 80 million subscribers in the U.S. and more than 800 million worldwide according to Variety.

The company describes itself as “the leading destination for short-form mobile video.”

Zuckerberg admits in the leaked recording that the Chinese company is “doing quite well around the world."

… TikTok, which is built by this company Beijing ByteDance, is really the first consumer internet product built by one of the Chinese tech giants that is doing quite well around the world. It’s starting to do well in the US, especially with young folks. It’s growing really quickly in India. I think it’s past Instagram now in India in terms of scale. So yeah, it’s a very interesting phenomenon.

- Mark Zuckerberg, July recording speaking to employees obtained by The Verge

He also compared the product to the “Explore Tab” on Instagram, but said there’s still room for improvement.

“So we have a number of approaches that we’re going to take towards this, and we have a product called Lasso that’s a standalone app that we’re working on, trying to get product-market fit in countries like Mexico, is I think one of the first initial ones.”

He explains instead, the plan of attack to beat the competition would include getting Lasso into other countries where TikTok hasn’t become “big.”

Zuckerberg also said he hopes improving Instagram features would build the audience, but thinks there’s plenty of time to figure out how to “get ahead of the trend” that is TikTok.

While he thinks TikTok is spending tons of money promoting itself, Zuckerberg believes the retention isn’t as strong.

Facebook has been criticized for buying companies like Instagram to kill competition and other social media companies in the market.