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TikTok a 'Fundamentally Parasitic' App, 'Actively Tell People' Not to Install It: Reddit CEO Steve Huffman

In 2019, TikTok was the second most downloaded app after WhatsApp.

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TikTok a 'Fundamentally Parasitic' App, 'Actively Tell People' Not to Install It: Reddit CEO Steve Huffman

Photo Credit: TikTok's revenue grew by a massive 540 percent year-on-year in Q4 2019

Highlights
  • Reddit CEO claimed TikTok snoops on user data
  • TikTok recently courted controversy for dangerous viral challenge
  • ByteDance hasn't reacted to Reddit CEO's comments yet

Love it or hate it, one cannot possibly deny the success of popular short-form mobile video app TikTok, which was released not more than five years ago. Since its launch, the app has managed to gain over 500 million daily active users and even pose a serious threat to Facebook-owned WhatsApp that leads the charts when it comes to most downloaded apps across Apple and Google app stores. However, Reddit CEO and co-founder, Steve Huffman holds a different view of the app.

Speaking at an event on Wednesday that was aimed to highlight the trends in social apps that would be shaping the next decade, Huffman called the app "parasitic" in nature and said he won't even "download it on his phone", TechCrunch reported. He further revealed that he "actively" recommends people to not install TikTok on their phones.

“I actively tell people, ‘Don't install that spyware on your phone,'” Huffman said at Social 2030 event where a large group of investors and entrepreneurs had gathered for a one-day conference. “I look at that app [TikTok] as so fundamentally parasitic, that it's always listening, the fingerprinting technology they use is truly terrifying, and I could not bring myself to install an app like that on my phone,” Techcrunch reported quoting the Reddit CEO.

Other than being the world's second-most downloaded app in 2019, TikTok had reached an all-time high in the fourth quarter of 2019, with nearly 220 million installs, which represented a 24 percent increase over Q3 2019. A report also revealed that the company's revenue grew by a massive 540 percent year-on-year in Q4 2019.

Recently, the app had courted controversy for a challenge that was trending on its platform. Users taking the SkullBreaker challenge were seen performing a dangerous prank that risked damaging someone's skull.

At the moment, TikTok's owner ByteDance hasn't reacted to Huffman's comments.

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Further reading: TikTok, Reddit CEO, Steve Huffman, Reddit
Abhik Sengupta Abhik Sengupta writes about smartphones and tablets for Gadgets 360, out of Delhi. Abhik is working as a sub-editor for Gadgets 360 and has also frequently written about mobile apps and data privacy. Abhik is available on Twitter at @abhiksengupta and can be reached out on abhiks@ndtv.com. More
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