Reddit Buys TikTok Rival Dubsmash
Reddit recently announced its first major acquisition with purchase of Dubsmash, a TikTok-like social media site where users upload short-form videos. While the terms of the deal were not disclosed, Dubsmash recently raised $20.2 million from investors including Heartcore Capital, Lowercase Capital, Sunstone Life and Index Ventures among others.
From what has been publicly revealed about the deal, Dubsmash will continue to operate as a separate platform. The driver for the purchase is to integrate Dubsmash's video creation tools into Reddit which, while it has supported video uploads since 2017, has limited video editing tools with the videos posted on the site often hosted elsewhere.
All About Dubsmash
Dubsmash was launched in 2015 as a video app where users could lip-sync to popular music. It struggled in the first few years of its existence but in 2007 it pivoted to become a full social media platform and moved its operations from Berlin to Brooklyn. Since then it has seen increased popularity and now has the largest share of the US short-form video market aside from the leader TikTok, based on app installs. Reportedly Dubsmash also held talks with Facebook and Snap about a possible acquisition before the Reddit deal was inked.
Reddit was founded in 2005 in San Francisco and bought by Conde Nast the following year. In 2011 it was sold, though the parent company of Conde Nast, Advance Publications, retains a stake. Last year it raised some $300m in funding from range of investors, including Sequoia Capital and Andrew Horowitz, valuing it at over $3 billion. The company has 700 employees compared to Dubsmash's 12.
One of the distinguishing features of Dubsmash is that it has a large user base of Black and Latinx users who are credited as the main reason for the site's success. TikTok's highest profile stars are white and the New York times published an article earlier this year claiming dance moves by Black creators on the site were often appropriated by TikTok users without giving credit to the original creators which meant that they missed out on larger followings and brand deals as a result. Reddit said in a statement that it regarded the purchase of the company as a part of a greater effort on its part to be more inclusive - the company has faced criticism in the past for racism after allowing hate-speech to be hosted on the site.
Dubsmash has stated that about 25% of US Black teens use its platform with female users representing about 70% of their total users. The company does not release the size of its user base figures but says about a third of its users log in daily to create video content and are highly engaged,
Reddit emphasized that it hoped the video creation tools developed by Dubsmash will help its users express themselves in original ways through video; while Reddit's video uploads have increased 2x in 2020, the site is still mainly text-based and the Reddit buys Dubsmash integration is seen as a short cut to building out its own video platform.
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