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Image for article titled TikTok’s Owner Is Taking One Small Step Into the Metaverse

Photograph: GREG BAKER / Contributor (Getty Photographs)

ByteDance, the Chinese language firm that owns TikTok, has acquired the digital actuality startup Pico in a deal that marks a significant push by the corporate to diversify its enterprise holdings and maintain tempo with the drive towards the metaverse.

Though ByteDance, which is headquartered in Beijing, didn’t instantly disclose the scale of the deal, the corporate instructed CNBC that Pico’s “complete suite of software program and {hardware} applied sciences, in addition to the expertise and deep experience of the staff, will assist each our entry to the VR area and long-term funding on this rising area.”

Pico—which ranked because the third-largest digital actuality headset maker globally within the first quarter of 2021—is not any small fry within the VR area, and the proposed deal harkens again to Facebook’s 2014 purchase of Oculus for a mix of $400 million in money and 23.1 million Fb shares. Though Fb acknowledged on the time that the real-world functions of VR had been nonetheless principally confined to gaming, the platform signaled that it believed within the potential to broaden VR “to new verticals, together with communications, media and leisure, training, and different areas.”

“Cell is the platform of immediately, and now we’re additionally preparing for the platforms of tomorrow,” Fb founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, mentioned on the time. “Oculus has the possibility to create essentially the most social platform ever, and alter the best way we work, play, and talk.”

In buying Pico, ByteDance could possibly be gearing up for a possible future showdown towards Facebook’s Oculus VR division, and will additionally face competitors from Apple, which purchased the digital actuality firm NextVR final 12 months.

The announcement of the proposed deal comes lower than every week after TikTok, which ByteDance owns, introduced that it was testing out a brand new augmented actuality studio, which creators may quickly be capable to use to experiment with new in-app options, together with lenses and visible results.

A ByteDance spokesperson instructed CNBC that the corporate is “optimistic about the way forward for VR and its alignment with our mission,” however didn’t instantly reply to request for additional remark.

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