Helena Lyng Blak
5 weeks ago

TikTok Parent Discreetly Launches New App

ByteDance quietly introduces a new social media platform, stirring curiosity amidst TikTok's ongoing challenges in the US.
London. UK- 12.31.2022. A person pressing on the symbol, icon of the social media application Tik Tok on the screen of a smartphone. — Photo by MingPhoto
London. UK- 12.31.2022. A person pressing on the symbol, icon of the social media application Tik Tok on the screen of a smartphone. — Photo by MingPhoto

It has been nearly two months since United States President Joe Biden signed the ‘TikTok Ban Bill’, which would force the short-form video platform to either divest its US operations or be banned in the country. 

TikTok responded by suing the American government over the potential ban, claiming that the bill was unconstitutional.

Politicians in favor of the bill argue that the app, particularly popular among Gen Z and Alpha, is a vehicle for Chinese propaganda and poses a national security threat, due to the fact that TikTok is owned by ByteDance. The company was founded and is partially owned by Chinese entrepreneurs, including former CEO and current Chairman Zhang Yiming.

As pressure on TikTok rises, Meta is finding success with its seemingly TikTok-inspired Reels, which has 2.35 billion monthly active users interacting with the feature on Instagram as of January 2024, according to DemandSage

But now, ByteDance may have taken a page out of the Zuckerberg-playbook and introduced a clone of its own.

Because according to AndroidPolice, the company has quietly and discreetly launched a brand new social media platform called Whee, available on the Google Play Store in select markets, which resembles Instagram, but “with a more personal touch.”

Screenshots of the app’s promotional material describes the platform as “made for friends,” encouraging users to “share with friends only,” and “capture life moments.”

Neowin describes the app as a mix between Instagram and recent social media fad BeReal. 

ByteDance also recently launched TikTok Notes in select markets, positioning it as a sort of competitor to microblog platforms such as Instagram’s Threads and X.

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