This post makes some interesting points around advertising and competition, but it makes some huge assumptions and logical leaps. Just because ByteDance could and did spend $1B on app install ads doesn't necessarily mean they had to. They might have spent because they didn't want to wait for organic growth for any number of reasons. You also provide no evidence that "advertising is the only way to grow an app to viability" except the TikTok example.

TikTok is completely designed around virality. It may or may not have grown to its current size (or close to it) without all those ads. And the fact that they did stop spending on Facebook before (as you suggest) they ran out of users they could acquire, suggests that maybe they did have other growth options.

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I am against Facebook's purchase of Instagram and against the Chinese Apps.

The correct position is to be against both.

we need to block tiktok in america.

why are we allowing china's social/content network in america when they wont allow any of ours in china?

why are we allowing them to get network effects in our country?

it makes no sense

I am a democrat.

Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, Youtube, Snapchat, Twitter... are all banned in China.

I cant for the life of me see why we would allow any of China's apps here.

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If you were to come out with a new soda, you're probably not going to be able to compete on the same level with Coka Cola, or Sprite. It's probably because most flavors or sodas are pretty much the same; so you'll need marketing power to get your brand out. You can apply this test with a lot of different industries. Try and make a new cereal be as popular as Cornflakes. There are several out there that taste exactly like or very similar to cornflakes but you probably aren't going to get people switching to Sam's Flakes or whatever they call it.

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Interesting article..... Palor. Zoom, Marco Polo, are examples of some competing US startups that are succeeding. Then you already have the likes of twitch, imessage, twitter,youtube, Netflix, and snapchat. All very able competitors.

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I feel the biggest reason the current environment is so hard to compete in is people’s extreme complacency (which would be hard to tamper by regulation). For example, Telegram offers vastly superior IM experience than competitors, but most people simply can’t bother to have two IM apps. They stick with what is good enough.

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