Google is reportedly interested in purchasing short video sharing platform Firework. According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, the company has already held discussions to acquire the California-based social video app.
Similar to the ultra-popular TikTok, Firework also allows users to record and share short videos. Besides, its patented Reveal technology allows creators to capture both horizontal and vertical video in one shot from their mobile devices.
Firework is part of a suite of apps created by Loop Now Technologies, a startup founded by ex-Snapchat and LinkedIn employees. It was valued at around $100 million in a fundraising round earlier this year. ByteDance, the Beijing-based maker of TikTok, meanwhile, is valued at $75 billion.
Chinese social media giant Weibo has also reportedly considered acquiring Firework, but "talks with Google are further along". YouTube executives are said to be involved in Google's discussions over the potential Firework deal. However, the acquisition may still be done under the main Google brand. People close to the situation say the two companies have not discussed pricing yet. Google and Firework are also exploring other ways to partner.
Google renewing its social media push
The market for short video sharing platforms is thriving. TikTok, particularly, has had explosive growth over this past year. Several companies, big and small, have been taking note of TikTok's success, and have launched their own version of the app. Social media giant Facebook has been testing its own TikTok competitor called Lasso for some time now. Google is now planning to enter the competition as well. The Mountain View company momentarily retreated from social media after shutting down Google+ earlier this year.
Google has added reason to launch a TikTok competitor. TikTok is quickly rising as a challenge for Google-owned YouTube. The platform has managed to capture some of YouTube's popular creators in such a short time while also creating its own breed of stars. This year's VidCon was an example of TikTok's potential to be a real YouTube competitor.
Google would rather offer its creators an alternative than letting them switch to a new platform. The company may even lure TikTok creators by offering them a share of the revenue for their content. At the moment, TikTok does not share revenue with creators.
Firework is already quite popular among millennials. It became the fastest social media app to achieve 1 million users in only 5 months while still in beta. With Google's backing, it may well scale new heights even faster. Google will have to pay a premium though, considering the market Firework taps.
Will Google be able to strike a deal with Firework? Perhaps, we will find out soon.