Chinese technology firm Bytedance bought social-video app Musical·ly for reportedly north-of-$800m in November 2017. Then, in August 2018, it folded Musical·ly into TikTok (obligatory reminder: Musical·ly had nothing to do with us, Music Ally, and thus we’re still open to nine-digit acquisition offers…) But in a parallel reality, Musical·ly is now owned by… Facebook! Well, Buzzfeed News is reporting that “Facebook spent much of the second half of 2016” trying to buy the app, including exploratory talks involving CEO Mark Zuckerberg himself in California and China.
“Sources said the talks were serious, though a deal never materialised,” claimed the story, whose focus was also on the broader public-policy battles now between Facebook and TikTok, with Zuckerberg increasingly critical of the latter app – just as it has started to draw heat from politicians in the US over issues including privacy and censorship. “Facebook is so pissed that TikTok is the one thing they can’t beat that they’ve turned to geopolitical arguments and lawmakers in Washington to fight their fight,” being one of the spicier (anonymous, unsurprisingly) quotes in the piece.