It’s November, which means you’re allowed to put this 2-hour Christmas-themed YouTube video of a burning yule log on your TV.
If you’re looking for a bit more action, TikTok — the short video app owned by the $400B+ Chinese firm ByteDance — has the answer.
TikTok is now on Amazon’s Fire TV device
According to The Wall Street Journal, the collaboration is a big opportunity for TikTok. The app already has 1B+ monthly users, but to expand it’ll have to find new audiences.
The TV screen offers a chance for younger TikTok users to share viral vids with their less tech savvy family members.
There’s a catch, though
Much of the TikTok magic doesn’t translate to the TV screen, per WSJ:
- Dimensions: TikTok is optimized for the vertical mobile experience. TVs default to horizontal, which leaves unattractive gaps on either side of the video on TVs.
- No swiping: The average TikTok user spends 52 minutes a day on the app, encouraged by the phone’s infinite swipe experience. On the Fire TV, you click a controller like changing channels.
- Not personalized: TikTok is known for its eerily precise algorithm that feeds users exactly what they want. Since TV is a communal experience, the recommendations will not be as accurate.
- No comments: One of the most wild parts of the TikTok app is the comments section (you guessed it: TV users can’t comment).
TikTok’s TV play…
… coincides with a corporate reorganization at ByteDance. Its co-founder and former CEO Yiming Zhang just stepped down as chairman.
The move comes amid a crackdown from the Chinese government that’s led to the loss of power from leaders at the country’s biggest tech firms: Alibaba, Kuaishou, JD, and Pinduoduo. 😬
At this rate, TV optimization may be the least of TikTok’s worries.
- Read More: Here’s our previous coverage on “The secret sauce behind TikTok’s recommendation algorithm”
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