TikTok parent Byte-Dance has begun selling the video app’s AI to other clients


ByteDance, the Beijing-based parent company of video sharing app TikTok has started selling TikTok’s AI to other companies, the Financial Times reports. The company has a new division called BytePlus, and according to its website, its client list already includes US fashion app Goat, Singapore travel site WeGo, and Indonesian shopping app Chilibeli. TikTok’s recommendation algorithm is a huge part of what has made it so popular. Essentially, the way you interact with the app affects what videos it will recommend to you. The company explained in a blog post last year how its ForYou feed determines what videos to serve a given user. Its recommendations are based on user interactions including which videos you like, share comment on, or create; video information, such as captions and hashtags; and account settings including your language preferences, and your location settings. According to the FT, BytePlus offers customers the chance to access the recommendation algorithm, and personalise it for their apps and customers.

Dress up as Harry Potter characters with Facebook’s new AR feature

Facebook’s Portal video calling device is getting a Harry Potter and the Cursed Child crossover that lets you and up to three friends dress up as characters from the play using augmented reality technology. The AR masks that transform you into a character, which are powered by Facebook’s Spark AR technology, will also match your skin tone. “Callers can fully embody the characters thanks to real-time skin sampling that matches the 3D character to your unique skin tone before converting it into an AR mask for seamless integration,” Facebook says in its blog. The feature works with Portal-to-Portal video calls for users in the US and UK. And if you don’t have a Portal device, “fans on Instagram and Facebook can still interact with the AR masks via each app’s camera and share video and photos via Stories,” according to the company. Facebook has been ramping up its augmented reality efforts; it announced last September that creators would be able to make AR effects for Messenger and Portal in 2021. The company is also investing heavily in AR and VR devices, with nearly 10,000 employees reportedly working in its Reality Labs division.