Wednesday October 16, 2019
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Google Purchasing Social Video App ‘Firework’ that Lets Users Share Short Videos Like TikTok

TikTok's parent, Beijing-based ByteDance, is valued around $75 billion

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Google, Social, Video
Based in Redwood City, California, Firework that entered India last month was valued at more than $100 million in a fundraising round earlier this year. Pixabay

Google is reportedly interested in purchasing US-based social video app Firework that lets users share short videos like Chinese player TikTok.

According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, Chinese micro-blogging platform Weibo had also shown interest in acquiring Firework but “talks with Google are further along”.

Based in Redwood City, California, Firework that entered India last month was valued at more than $100 million in a fundraising round earlier this year. TikTok’s parent, Beijing-based ByteDance, is valued around $75 billion.

irework is part of a suite of apps created by Loop Now Technologies, a start-up that focuses on next-generation consumer mobile applications.

Google, Social, Video
According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, Chinese micro-blogging platform Weibo had also shown interest in acquiring Firework but “talks with Google are further along”. Pixabay

Similar to Tiktok that allows users to post 15-seconed short videos, Firework allows users to create 30-second videos and with “Reveal”, its patent pending technology, it will allow creators to take both horizontal and vertical video in one shot from their mobile device.

The app is currently available on both iOS and Android smartphones with over a million registered users.

Firework has appointed Sunil Nair as CEO and MD for its India operations.

“My vision for Firework in India is to become more relevant and give our users every opportunity to stay meaningful and seamlessly experience a new view from their lens,” Nair said in a statement.

Also Read- Technology Creating Dangerous Overload of Unfiltered Data

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

On Lasso, which is currently available in the US, users can record themselves dancing and lip-syncing to music, similar to what they can do on TikTok.

In addition, Facebook recently roped in former Google employee Jason Toff for a key portfolio and the speculation is rife about the social networking giant preparing the global launch of its short video-sharing app. (IANS)

Next Story

Apple Refutes Report of Sharing Safari Data with Tencent or Google

Apple CEO Tim Cook has said he believes privacy is "ingrained in the Constitution," but that he's worried about how third-party companies have worked to collect information on us

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Apple, Campus, China
A customer is entering the Apple store in Fairfax, Virginia. VOA

After media reports surfaced that Apple is sending iOS users’ data via its Safari browser to Google and the Chinese tech company Tencent, the Cupertino-based iPhone maker refuted such reports, saying it safeguards people’s information in its own systems and never shares it with third-party players.

A report in reclaimthenet.org stated that “Apple, which often positions itself as a champion of privacy and human rights, may be sending some IP addresses from users of its Safari browser on iOS to Chinese conglomerate Tencent — a company with close ties to the Chinese Communist Party”.

The report focused on Apple’s “fraudulent website warning” system which is built into Apple’s Safari web browser to warn people when they visit sites that are harmful and can trick users into sharing login passwords for banks, email and social media.

“Before visiting a website, Safari may send information calculated from the website address to Google Safe Browsing and Tencent Safe Browsing to check if the website is fraudulent. These browsing providers may also log your IP address,’ read the information on Apple’s “Safari & Privacy” section.

It’s unclear when Apple started allowing Tencent and Google to log some user IP addresses, but one Twitter user reported the change in Safari happened as early as the iOS 12.2 beta in February 2019, said the report.

Google on an Android device. Pixabay

In a statement, the company said it actually doesn’t send information to Google or Tencent.

“Instead, it receives a list of bad websites from both companies and then uses it to protect people as they surf the web. Apple sometimes obscures the information about the website people visit if it requests more information to check if a questionable website is malicious,” CNET reported on Monday, citing Apple’s statement.

Also Read: Kerala Unable to get Medics from Reserved Category

For people concerned about their privacy, the service can be turned off in Safari preferences on the iPhone or Mac.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has said he believes privacy is “ingrained in the Constitution,” but that he’s worried about how third-party companies have worked to collect information on us. (IANS)