Another story for the soon-to-be-bulging file of ‘TikTok killers’ – most of which will turn out to be anything but. According to the Wall Street Journal, Google “has held discussions” about acquiring a startup called Firework, whose smartphone app is like TikTok, but with a 30-second limit (rather than 15) for videos, and an older demographic. The suggestion is that any such acquisition would be a way for Google to “counter fast-growing TikTok”. That said, it’s strangely-early days for the deal, given its splashing in such a major media outlet: the Wall Street Journal suggests that the talks are still preliminary and that they haven’t even reached the stage of talking price.
It’s hard not to wonder who leaked the talks to the newspaper and why, at this point. The story comes just days after leaked audio of a Facebook internal-staff meeting revealed some of CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s thinking about the competitive threat posed to his company by TikTok, and plans to combat it largely by adapting Instagram.