While ByteDance’s short video app TikTok is taking the world by storm, its lesser-known news app TopBuzz is not that lucky.
The Beijing-based tech unicorn shut down TopBuzz, the overseas equivalent of its popular Chinese news aggregator Jinri Toutiao known for using AI algorithms to analyze users’ interests to distribute personalized news and information, Reuters reported Friday.
Two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters that early signs of the shutdown appeared last year when TopBuzz began scaling down its operations. U.S. tech news provider The Information also reported in 2019 that ByteDance was in talks with potential buyers of TopBuzz including U.S.-based media companies.
The closure of TopBuzz marks a failure of ByteDance to repeat its success with Jinri Toutiao, which research firm SensorTower said was the world’s most-installed news app in January 2020 with 6.3 million downloads.
TopBuzz’s combined downloads on Apple’s App Store and Google Play Store fell from 7 million in 2018 to 1.2 million in the first half of 2019, according to the Reuters report, citing statistics from SensorTower.
In March 2020, ByteDance completed a management reorganization enabling founder and CEO Zhang Yiming to focus more on the company’s overseas businesses.
Contact reporter Ding Yi (firstname.lastname@example.org)