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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,
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- Short-form-video app Triller, a TikTok rival, touted massive user growth last year that some former employees believe was inflated.
- When Triller announced a fundraise in October 2019, it said it had grown 500% organically year over year to 13 million monthly active users.
- Six former Triller employees said 13 million MAUs was more than five times what they were seeing on some internal metrics. One provided a screenshot that showed closer to 2 million MAUs.
- In August, Triller threatened to sue a third-party app analytics company, Apptopia, for providing estimates of Triller’s app downloads that contradicted the company’s publicly reported numbers.
- Triller CEO Mike Lu said the former employees were “disseminating inaccurate information” to Business Insider. “We can validate each and every one of our 239M plus [users].”
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
If you read the trail of statements made by Triller in recent weeks, the short-form-video