The Wall Street Journal said that Google is seeking to complete a deal to acquire Firework, a free mobile application that allows users to share 30-second videos. Unlike the popular Chinese app Tik Tok, FireWork targets older users.
FireWork is based in Redwood City and was valued at more than $ 1 million earlier this year. FireWork and Google have not discussed the value of the deal so far, and the talks may not lead to the completion of the acquisition, but to other ways to forge a partnership between the parties, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The Chinese version of Twitter, Weibo, has expressed interest in acquiring FireWork, but their talks did not reach the level of discussions with Google, the same sources revealed to the American newspaper.
One insider said part of Google’s motivation was to stay in the vanguard, noting that it was considering other acquisitions as well. A YouTube executive is involved in discussions about a possible FireWork deal, according to Wall Street Journal sources.
The talks come amid tightening the scrutiny of the practices of “Google” and giant companies, because of their dominance in the technological scene. Google, a subsidiary of parent company Alphabet, made its big strides in the industry 13 years ago when it acquired the YouTube platform and turned it into the first online video destination; about 500 hours of new content uploaded to YouTube each Analyst say YouTube accounts for about 20 percent of Alphabet’s total annual advertising revenue.
But online video sharing is expanding, far from the influence of Google and YouTube. Short videos, made with mobile phones, have become the focus of many users. The rise in the popularity of such content has resulted in more than one in seven people, around the world, downloading the TikTok app on their mobile phone. The Beijing-based parent company, ByteDance, is valued at $ 75 billion.
Google is not the only company seeking to engage in the field of short videos; the rapid rise of TikTok in the United States, especially among adolescents, has aroused the concerns of Facebook executives who launched a similar application called Lasso in 2018. Snapchat also has new features similar to Snapchat.
Former Snap, LinkedIn, LinkedIn and JPMorgan Chase & Co officials launched FireWork last year. The company says on its website that millions of people have downloaded the app, to share videos about serious sports or guitar lessons.
Earlier this year, the application raised about $ 30 million from investment companies, including IDG Capital and GSR Venture.