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TikTok parent ByteDance has begun selling the video app’s AI to other clients

It launched a new division called BytePlus

TikTok’s parent company has started selling its AI to other companies
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

ByteDance, the Beijing-based parent company of video sharing app TikTok has started selling TikTok’s AI to other companies, the Financial Times reports (may require subscription). The company has a new division called BytePlus, and according to its website, its client list already includes US fashion app Goat, Singapore travel site WeGo, Indonesian shopping app Chilibeli, and India-based social gaming platform GamesApp.

TikTok’s recommendation algorithm is a huge part of what has made it so popular. Essentially, the way you interact with the app affects what videos it will recommend to you. The company explained in a blog post last year how its ForYou feed determines what videos to serve a given user. Its recommendations are based on user interactions including which videos you like, share comment on, or create; video information, such as captions and hashtags; and device and account settings including what device you’re using, your language preferences, and your location settings.

According to the FT, BytePlus offers customers the chance to access the recommendation algorithm, and personalize it for their apps and customers. BytePlus also offers automated speech and text translation and real-time video effects as well as data analysis tools, according to its website.

Over the past year and a half ByteDance and TikTok were among the China-based companies targeted by a series of executive orders from former President Trump, that sought to block China-based apps from US app stores. President Biden signed an executive order in June revoking the bans. Despite the pressure from the Trump administration, TikTok surpassed 100 million monthly users in the US last year.

ByteDance didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment Sunday.