By Vanessa Pappas, Interim Head of TikTok
When I joined TikTok nearly two years ago, few Americans had heard of it. The marketplace of online social platforms had remained virtually unchanged for a decade. Few could have imagined TikTok would become a social phenomenon that would change the lives of hundreds of millions of people. In the process, TikTok has altered the competitive tech landscape, spurring companies across the industry to innovate. And at TikTok, we're just getting started.
TikTok has always been unique from other platforms. The app gives our community excitingly simple tools with which to foster their creativity and power their entertaining short-form videos. Our For You feed, where you first land upon opening the app, offers up videos based on your unique interests and has changed the way companies think about recommendation and discovery. That same ease of discovery also changed the game for creators – on TikTok, anyone has a chance to reach an audience, without needing to be a celebrity or social influencer with a large following.
TikTok's popularity grew much faster than any of us could have imagined. Today people come to this platform for entertainment, learning, and increasingly, as a place where small businesses can reach consumers and build a following. During the pandemic, like many platforms, we saw that growth increase significantly as families sought creative ways to connect with one another.
With our success has come added scrutiny. We appreciate this, as the tech industry has rightfully been asked tough questions in recent years. While we strongly disagree with the implications of TikTok as a national security threat, we nonetheless understand the concerns. Over the last year we've taken numerous steps to increase transparency, including hiring a world-class Chief Security Officer with decades of US law enforcement and industry experience; launching a Transparency and Accountability Center where experts can inspect our algorithm, code, and moderation practices; hiring hundreds of engineers in the US; and publishing our first Transparency Reports.
We're pleased that today we've confirmed a proposal that resolves the Administration's security concerns and settles questions around TikTok's future in the US. Our plan is extensive and consistent with previous CFIUS resolutions, including working with Oracle, who will be our trusted cloud and technology provider responsible for fully securing our users' data. We are committed to protecting our users globally and providing the highest levels of security. Both Oracle and Walmart will take part in a TikTok Global pre-IPO financing round in which they can take up to a 20% cumulative stake in the company. We will also maintain and expand the US as TikTok Global's headquarters while bringing 25,000 jobs across the country.
TikTok has won the hearts of hundreds of millions of people around the world, including 100 million Americans, because it's a home for entertainment, connection, and expression. We're delighted that the individuals who've turned their creativity on TikTok into thriving careers, the small businesses using TikTok to connect with customers during the pandemic, and the families who've found joy and connection through our platform will be able to use TikTok for many years to come.
We want to thank all of the members of our community who have shown tremendous support – to us, but more importantly, for each other – throughout this period of turbulence. TikTok is what it is because of all of you.
Our team works tirelessly to provide a safe and inclusive platform, and we're thrilled that we will be able to continue serving our amazingly diverse and creative community. This is just the beginning for TikTok, and we're so excited to be with you in this journey for the long run.