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TikTok 'poaching' Facebook employees right in its backyard

Chinese short-video making platform TikTok is reportedly poaching Facebook employees and has moved into an office space in Mountain View, California that used to be frequented by WhatsApp workers before it was acquired by the social networking giant in 2014.

According to a CNBC report, TikTok and its parent company ByteDance have also posted several job postings in the San Francisco Bay Area, according to LinkedIn.

"Since 2018, the company has hired more than two dozen employees from Facebook," the report said.

The new location gives TikTok a strategic presence as it is just a few blocks away from Facebook's Menlo Park headquarters and employees can just walk-in for jobs.

Earlier this month, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg admitted that TikTok is doing well in the US and growing quickly in India, unveiling his own plans to counter the rising clout of the Chinese short video-sharing platform in meetings with employees.

Saying that Facebook has a "number of approaches" to compete with TikTok, Zuckerberg said the company would first test the efficacy of its strategies in markets where TikTok is not already big, according to the details of the meeting published by The Verge.

With over 200 million users in India, TikTok, owned by Beijing-based ByteDance, is fast closing the gap with Facebook in the country.

"We have a number of approaches that we're going to take towards this, and we have a product called Lasso that's a standalone app that we're working on, trying to get product-market fit in countries like Mexico, is I think one of the first initial ones," Zuckerberg was quoted as saying.

In November last year, Facebook quietly released a stand-alone app called "Lasso" to compete with TikTok.

ByteDance claims it has over 700 million daily active users globally. Facebook has more than 2.1 billion people that use one of its apps daily, including Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp.

According to the Facebook CEO, TikTok is almost like Instagram's Explore Tab.

"I kind of think about TikTok as if it were Explore for stories, and that were the whole app," Zuckerberg said.

"We're taking a number of approaches with Instagram, including making it so that Explore is more focused on stories, which is increasingly becoming the primary way that people consume content on Instagram, as well as a couple of other things there," he said.

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