Bytedance short video platform TikTok poaching Facebook employees

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Screenshot of TikTok’s official website. (Image credit: TechNode)

Bytedance short video app TikTok recently set up a new office near Facebook’s headquarters in Silicon Valley and has started to poach Facebook employees, CNBC reported, citing multiple people familiar with the matter.

Why it matters: As user growth in China decelerates, Bytedance is putting greater emphasis on expanding overseas. The company has been trying to better manage TikTok’s rapid growth to guard against potential pitfalls such as regulatory backlash.

Details: TikTok has poached more than two dozen employees from Facebook since 2018.

  • TikTok’s new office in Mountain View, California, puts it just a few miles from Facebook’s Menlo Park headquarters.
  • At around the same time, the Bytedance company also posted more than 10 job openings based in the San Francisco Bay Area on LinkedIn, including positions for product managers and safety policy managers.
  • Two former Facebook employees told CNBC that they left for TikTok because they want to join a popular media company going through extreme growth.
  • TikTok offers salaries as much as 20% higher than that of Facebook when poaching from the company.
  • According to the CNBC report, TikTok is interested in hiring employees from companies such as Facebook because they have the ability to address issues that arise with fast growth.
  • In addition to Facebook, TikTok has been poaching from tech companies such as Snap, Hulu, Apple, Youtube, and Amazon.
  • TikTok is also planning to move its headquarters in Culver City, California, to an office with the capacity for 1,000 employees.

Context: Bytedance recorded RMB 50 billion to RMB 60 billion (around $7.1 billion to $8.4 billion) in revenue in the first half of 2019, exceeding the company’s expectations and leading the company to revise its revenue target for the year to RMB 120 billion, according to Reuters.

  • The company’s global headcount has increased to around 50,000 in September as a result of an increased push into new areas, compared with 40,000 last year.