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Alex Hofmann, former North America president of Musical.ly, is now CEO of startup 9count. Photo: Alex Hofmann

Former Musical.ly President on Where TikTok Is Going Next

Photo: Alex Hofmann, former North America president of Musical.ly, is now CEO of startup 9count. Photo: Alex Hofmann

In the early days of Musical.ly, leadership had frequent debates about whether to base the app on social relationships or on an “interest graph,” making it entertainment-focused, said Alex Hofmann, former North America president of Musical.ly, in an interview.

Hofmann, who left Musical.ly a few months after ByteDance acquired the company in late 2017 (and merged it into another app you’ve probably heard of: TikTok), said that while products with “a social graph” usually retain users better because they want to check out what friends are doing, ultimately the company went the entertainment route. 

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