Psst, Buy TikTok
Why the heck would Oracle want to buy TikTok? Maybe because Sequoia Capital and General Atlantic are whispering in its ear, The Wall Street Journal reports. As major investors in TikTok parent ByteDance, both are highly motivated to maneuver their way into a deal percolating to acquire TikTok’s US operations. Microsoft, a frontrunner to acquire TikTok, said it might invite a few US investors to join its bid, but Sequoia and General Atlantic became concerned that there wouldn’t be a place for them in Microsoft’s deal. So they turned their attention to Oracle, according to people familiar with the discussions. TikTok is under a lot of pressure to reach a deal before Trump’s 90-day deadline. The company is being courted by Microsoft (seriously), Twitter (sort of) and Oracle (weirdly). TikTok reportedly also approached Netflix to gauge its interest but was rebuffed. Oh, and TikTok is suing the Trump administration over its executive order to ban the app. The saga continues.
Shop ’Til Ya Drop
COVID-19 was the signal for Facebook to go all-in on ecommerce. The platform launched a dedicated shopping tab on its main app called Facebook Shop on Tuesday, where users can browse catalogs and purchase directly from businesses, Bloomberg reports. Facebook also expanded Instagram’s checkout feature to all US businesses. The news follows the launch of Facebook Shops in May, which allows business owners to set up native virtual storefronts across Facebook’s apps. And The Zuck himself is also reportedly way more focused on ecommerce and involved with shopping-related initiatives than he was in the past. Facebook’s wider embrace of ecommerce comes at a time when online shopping is soaring and ad revenue remains depressed due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. “I think there’s definitely an increased amount of energy around shopping,” said Instagram head of product Vishal Shah.
A Chinese ad network called Mintegral, owned by Mobvista, was caught conducting a click fraud attribution scheme across 1,200 apps that have netted 300 million installs per month since July, Forbes reports. Mintegral, which denies the accusations, was injecting malicious SDKs that presented as ad networks into apps so it could claim attribution for generating app installs. The scheme likely impacted billions of app installs and poses a “major privacy concern to hundreds of millions of consumers,” said Danny Grander, chief security officer of Snyk, the security firm that uncovered the scheme. While a majority of the affected apps were games, two dating apps that contain sensitive user information, Topface and Meet24, were also impacted. Apple claims that it’s found no evidence that Mintegral’s SDK is harming users.
But Wait, There’s More!