Tag: fine

11
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

Fancy cars, fine dining, creator mansions, cash: Triller is shelling out for talent

When talk of a possible TikTok ban began in July, the leaders of a small social video app called Triller saw a growth opportunity.

To attract users, the company set its sights on TikTok’s biggest names. Some of the Sway Boys, a group of TikTok influencers, had been toying with the idea of building their own app to compete with TikTok, but after a discussion with Ryan Kavanaugh, the majority owner of Triller and a veteran entertainment executive, they decided the platform could be good for them.

Triller offered the creators a deal: Tell your audience on TikTok that you’re moving to Triller, and we’ll give you equity and roles within the company. You can still post on TikTok, they were told, but only if you post on Triller more frequently. In turn, of the Sway Boys, Josh Richards, 18, was named Triller’s chief strategy officer, and Griffin Johnson, 21, and Noah Beck, 19, joined as advisers with equity.

Soon, CNBC, Fox News and the Los Angeles Times were writing about TikTok defectors bound for Triller, an app they described as a viable replacement for TikTok should a ban be put in place. In August, Triller announced it was seeking a new funding round of $250 million, hiking its valuation to over $1 billion.

But could it live up to the hype?

Getting that ‘Triller money’

Founded in 2015, Triller bills itself as an app for making professional-looking music videos, quickly. Functionally, it’s different from TikTok: It has different editing tools; its users can’t “duet,” or react to videos; and while it offers top singles and hit songs, it lacks the extensive library of sounds and mash-ups that TikTok users employ to express themselves.

“I think there’s a lot of things on Triller that TikTok doesn’t have and vice versa;

06
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

Kamala Harris walks a fine line with tech industry as VP debate nears

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Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris (left) and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg (right) talk during an event at Facebook’s headquarters in Menlo Park, California, in 2015.


Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

This story is part of Elections 2020, CNET’s coverage of the run-up to voting in November.

Toward the end of an April 2018 hearing in the nation’s capital, Sen. Kamala Harris leaned into her microphone and offered Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg a frank and unflattering assessment of his company.

“I have to tell you, I’m concerned about how much Facebook values trust and transparency,” the California Democrat told Zuckerberg. The CEO was being grilled by lawmakers over a scandal involving Cambridge Analytica, a data consultancy that scraped user information from the social network to help Donald’s Trump’s 2016 candidacy.

Then Harris, who is now the Democratic nominee for vice president, zeroed in on a particularly troubling point: Facebook’s failure to tell users that Cambridge Analytica had misappropriated their data. “Were you part of a discussion that resulted in a decision not to inform your users?” the senator asked Zuckerberg. 

Looking uncomfortable, the CEO responded, “I don’t remember a conversation like that.” 

Congressional hearings are always political theater, but the encounter gave a glimpse of the adversarial stance Harris could take with Big Tech, despite her being a fan favorite in the industry for years. During her campaigns for California attorney general, US senator for California and president, Harris received donations from major tech leaders, including Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, former Apple design guru Jony Ive and Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff. She’s made speeches at Google and Facebook, and her brother-in-law, Tony West, is Uber’s top lawyer. But, as Silicon Valley faces intense