Google may acquire TikTok competitor Firework

Anne Freier

In App Business. October 8, 2019

Google is apparently planning to buy Firework, a video-sharing app similar to TikTok.

Firework allows users to create and share videos up to 30-seconds in length.

The acquisition would allow the company to compete with TikTok more effectively.

But compared to TikTok, Firework doesn’t just cater to a teen or millennial audience. Instead, the app is trying to reach older users.

Firework is currently valued at $100 million, but it’s not clear how much Google is offering to purchase the company for. The company was launched by ex-executives at Snap, LinkedIn and JPMorgan Chase in 2018. It raised $30 million during its initial launch from venture capital firms.

According to The Wall Street, Chinese social network Weibo has also been in talks with Firework to acquire the network. But talks with Google are apparently at a more advanced stage.

Smartphones are changing video viewing habits with users consuming shorter content continuously throughout the day. Research by Whistle found that 81% of Gen Z prefer to watch videos on smartphones. The majority of users said they did not notice a difference in quality.

Similarly, eMarketer found that UK consumers are spending more time viewing video content on mobile devices.

TikTok has attracted millions of downloads, potentially posing a threat to Google’s YouTube. Discussions with Firework could point toward Google diversifying its video services to attract younger audiences.