The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that Google is trying to buy a video-sharing app called Firework, a TikTok-like social app. The app is owned by Silicon Valley-based Loop Now Technologies and launched seven months ago as an iPhone and Android app.
Weibo also wants to buy it, reportedly.
The article ominously reported that Google is looking at other acquisitions in the social space.
I get PTSD just thinking about Google launching another social network.
Still, Firework does at least one neat trick. When you're watching a video (which can be as long as 30 seconds), you can turn your phone in any orientation, and no matter how you turn it, the video stays level. The feature is called "Reveal," and Firework owns the patent. Google may just be buying the technology for use on YouTube.
The app also uses AI for discovery and content filtering, and has person-to-person messaging in place of anonymous commenting, so it won't become a cesspool like YouTube comments are.
Interestingly, Firework is monetized by sponsored hashtags.
Unlike TikTok, whose algorithm is censored by the Chinese Communist Party and favors videos of voluptuous 15-year-old girls lip-synching to hip hop, Firework is designed to be less young and less toxic.
Here are some more videos that show what Loop Now can do.