ByteDance Eyeing Virtual Reality Market With West Coast Hiring Push

Kristin Snyder

Kristin Snyder is dot.LA's 2022/23 Editorial Fellow. She previously interned with Tiger Oak Media and led the arts section for UCLA's Daily Bruin.

ByteDance Eyeing Virtual Reality Market With West Coast Hiring Push
Photo by Mallika Singh

TikTok parent company ByteDance is reportedly planning to expand its virtual reality operations in the U.S.

After acquiring VR headset company Pico last year, China-based ByteDance is preparing to invest “tons of money” into VR-based games and experiences, sources told tech outlet Protocol.


As part of its expansion, ByteDance is currently making a sizable hiring push on the West Coast, where it has job listings for more than 40 positions—including roles related to content, hardware and sales—in California and Washington. According to Protocol, ByteDance has also shifted some TikTok employees over to Pico, such as business development executive Sally Wang.

ByteDance’s ambitions for Pico signal a willingness to compete with Meta in the virtual reality-fueled metaverse. Sources told Protocol that Pico is willing to spend on VR content titles that have already been licensed to Meta and also go head-to-head on hardware, where its Neo 3 Link headset is disadvantaged by a higher price point (450 euros, or about $480) compared to Meta’s Quest 2 ($299).

TikTok has made its own forays into VR and augmented reality (AR) via Effect House, a platform that allows users to create their own AR effects on the video-sharing app. But its investments still lag far behind those of Meta, which will reportedly pour $10 billion to $15 billion this year on its VR, AR and metaverse efforts, including on more hardware and new features.

And Meta isn’t Pico’s only competition in the space: Snap has also made VR and AR a key part of its new product offerings, while entertainment giants like Disney have made no secret of their designs for the metaverse.

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The Streamy Awards: The War Between Online Creators and Traditional Media Is Just Beginning

Kristin Snyder

Kristin Snyder is dot.LA's 2022/23 Editorial Fellow. She previously interned with Tiger Oak Media and led the arts section for UCLA's Daily Bruin.

tiktok influencers around a trophy ​
Andria Moore /Charli D'Amelio/Addison Rae/JiDion

Every year, the Streamy Awards, which is considered the top award show within the creator economy, reveals which creators are capturing the largest audiences. This past Sunday, the event, held at The Beverly Hilton, highlighted some of the biggest names in the influencer game, chief among them Mr. Beast and Charli D’Amelio. It had all the trappings of a traditional award show—extravagant gowns, quippy acceptance speeches and musical interludes. But, as TikTok creator Adam Rose told The Washington Post, the Streamys still lacks the legitimacy of traditional award shows.

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Slingshot Aerospace Is Expanding Its Network of Telescopes To Make Tracking Data Even More Accurate

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He holds a degree in journalism from Emerson College and previously covered technology and entertainment for TheWrap and reported on the SoCal startup scene for the Los Angeles Business Journal. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter @Samsonamore.

Slingshot Aerospace Is Expanding Its Network of Telescopes To Make Tracking Data Even More Accurate
Photo: Slingshot Aerospace

Slingshot Aerospace, the El Segundo-based startup developing software for managing objects in space’s orbit, raised $40.9 million to build out its global network of sensors and recruit new customers both private and public.

The round was a follow-on to Slingshot’s $25 million Series A-1 raise in March.

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Can EV Charging Companies Survive Without Multiple Revenue Streams?

David Shultz

David Shultz reports on clean technology and electric vehicles, among other industries, for dot.LA. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Outside, Nautilus and many other publications.

charging station
Blink Charging

It ain’t easy being a charging company…or at least a lot of them aren’t making it look easy. Between reports of abysmal charger uptime, declining stock values, lack of standards and meaningless jargon (is “hyper” really faster than “ultra?”), the race to electrify America’s roads has been a bumpy one. For Miami-based Blink Charging, however, the solution to smoothing the transition may be about becoming more than just a charger company.

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