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#SocialStocks: Frank McCourt seeks Investor Group to buy TikTok U.S. Operations

Posted May 16, 2024 at 9:45 am
Andrew Perez
The Fly

Meta partners with Zoom amid Workplace shutdown, TikTok to label AI content and other notable stories from this week

Welcome to “#SocialStocks,” The Fly’s weekly recap of Wall Street’s reactions to social media stock news.


Billionaire tech critic Frank McCourt revealed his plan to acquire ByteDance’s TikTok operations in the United States, Ben Smith of Semafor reported. McCourt, the executive chairman of McCourt Global and founder of the tech and innovation initiative Project Liberty, aims to rebuild TikTok as a “new and better version of the internet.” His vision reportedly emphasizes individual respect, ownership, and control over identity and data. McCourt has enlisted the investment bank Guggenheim Securities to guide him in what he terms the “people’s bid.” His plan involves securing funding—potentially up to $100 billion—for acquiring TikTok.. If he successfully assembles an investor group, he’ll likely face stiff competition from major American corporations vying for TikTok’s substantial advertising business and user base. Donald Trump’s 2020 efforts to force a sale attracted interest from Microsoft (MSFT) and a consortium including Oracle (ORCL) and Walmart (WMT). “We want all the capital to be values-aligned [around] a new and better version of the internet, where individuals are respected and they own and control their identity and their data,” McCourt told Semafor.


Workvivo by Zoom (ZM) was named Meta Platforms’ (META) only preferred migration partner for its customers as it retires Workplace from Meta. Meta is discontinuing Workplace from Meta – its employee engagement platform. To assist with customer transitions, Meta will partner with Workvivo as its only preferred migration partner. Workplace from Meta and Workvivo plan to provide migration tools for customers migrating to Workvivo and Workvivo will also offer additional implementation services at no further cost to support customers’ transition. It is currently unclear how many Meta employees will be impacted by the closure of Workplace.


Meta is exploring developing artificial intelligence-powered earphones with cameras, which the company hopes could be used to identify objects and translate foreign languages, The Information’s Kalley Huang and Syvia Varnham O’Regan reported, citing three current employees. Meta’s work on a new AI device comes as several tech companies look to develop AI wearables, and after Meta added an AI assistant to its Ray-Ban smart glasses, the authors noted.


TikTok plans to start automatically labeling some AI content, including from DALL-E and Adobe’s (ADBE) Firefly, and is joining the Adobe-led content credentials coalition, The Financial Times’ Madhumita Murgia and Hannah Murphy wrote. Online groups, such as Meta already require users to disclose if realistic images, audio or videos are made through AI software, according to the report.


Deutsche Bank raised the firm’s price target on Reddit (RDDT). The company reported positive Q1 results, the analyst tells investors in a research note.

Originally Posted May 15, 2024 – #SocialStocks: Frank McCourt seeks investor group to buy TikTok U.S. operations

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