Tiktok experiences brief outage, launches new Ad Platform amidst calls for ban

Tiktok experiences brief outage, launches new Ad Platform amidst calls for ban

TikTok has had a difficult week, to say the least — and rival Instagram just made it much harder. For a few hours on Thursday afternoon, videos that appeared on TikTok user pages, following feeds, and the For You Page all displayed broken Like totals for some users across the globe. TikTok showed that these videos had zero likes.

“Earlier today, some of our users experienced app issues around notifications, the display of likes and view counts, and trouble loading videos on some pages of the app,” TikTok said in a statement to The Verge. “The issues appear to have been caused by higher traffic than normal on our servers in Virginia, causing temporary service disruptions. We’ve resolved the problem and are investigating the cause, and will share updates as they become available.”

But the brief outage came at the worst possible time, as many TikTok users concluded that the glitch was the result of a countrywide ban on the app, which had been threatened by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo earlier this week. In an interview with Fox News on Tuesday, Pompeo said that the government was “looking into” banning the app.

In other news, TikTok has launched a new self-service ad platform to market to small businesses. The popular social media company’s new ad platform lets companies purchase ads without going through the ad sales team. This will hopefully court small businesses to push ads on the app but may cause even more issues surrounding a possible ban on TikTok in the U.S. which was proposed by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday.

To help jumpstart these local ad buyers, the app is providing $100 million in ad credits globally. Small businesses can apply for these free credits as they have been hard-hit by the coronavirus pandemic. These credits are available for U.S. businesses as the proposed ban has not taken effect.

Instagram jumping on Tiktok gap in India

India, which has the most TikTok downloads outside of China, announced late last week that it would ban the popular video-sharing platform and several other Chinese apps, saying they pose a “threat to sovereignty and integrity.” And the United States, the third-largest TikTok market, may follow India’s lead.
Now, Instagram is hoping to fill India’s TikTok-size void with its own video-sharing feature called Reels. Facebook (FB), Instagram’s parent company, said it would begin testing Reels in India on Wednesday.
“We’re excited to expand our test of Instagram Reels to India,” a Facebook spokesperson said. Reels gives anyone the ability to create and discover short form videos, which is how more and more people are enjoying and creating content.”
Instagram began testing Reels in Brazil in November, and has since expanded into France and Germany. The in-app tool lets users record 15-second videos set to music and audio, and upload them to their stories, similar to TikTok.
Facebook also said it is shutting down its own TikTok-like app, Lasso, to focus on Reels.
“India has always been a priority for us,” the Facebook spokesperson said. “All of our test countries represent vibrant cultures, and in India consumer demand is strong with videos making up over a third of posts on Instagram.”
The company has not announced a date for a global launch.

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