Reddit has bought TikTok rival Dubsmash, becoming the latest social media platform to expand into the increasingly competitive viral video segment.
The Silicon Valley-based online discussion forum did not disclose the financial terms of the cash and stock deal, its highest-profile acquisition to date.
In a statement, Reddit said it planned to integrate Dubsmash’s video creation tools into its platform, while allowing the app to “maintain its own platform and brand”. Launched in 2014, Dubsmash is known for hosting short user-generated video and lip-syncing clips.
The acquisition comes as social media groups increasingly shift from focusing on social and private messaging features to hosting viral entertainment platforms in a bid to emulate the success of Chinese-owned TikTok, which popularised the short, scrollable video format.
In August, Facebook launched a TikTok imitator, Reels, within the Instagram camera app.
Last month, Snap rolled out its own video-app clone, dubbed Spotlight, that showcases hand-selected creator content to users. As an incentive, Snapchat has promised that $1 million (€825,000) a day will be divvied up among the influencers who are featured, depending on how many views they get.
Both Facebook and Snap had previously approached Dubsmash about a potential acquisition, according to US media reports. The company was most recently valued at $47.5 million in November 2016, according to PitchBook. It has raised a total of $20 million from venture capital investors to date, according to Crunchbase data.
Reddit, which already has its own native video and live streaming features, said in its statement that Dubsmash hosted 1 billion video views a month.
"Dubsmash elevates under-represented creators, while Reddit fosters a sense of community and belonging across thousands of different topics and passions," said Steve Huffman, Reddit's chief executive.
The fast-growing discussion forum has previously come under fire for hosting hate speech from fringe and far-right groups, and has taken steps to better police its platform as it looks to attract more advertising clients.
Dubsmash's entire team, including its three co-founders Suchit Dash, Jonas Drüppel, and Tim Specht, will join Reddit. – Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2020