Facebook rolled out its own version of social media rival TikTok in the United States and more than 50 other countries on Wednesday, embedding a new short-form video service called Reels as a feature within its popular Instagram app.
The launch of Reels increased Facebook shares by more than 6% on Thursday making Mark Zuckerberg who owns a 13% stake in the company the new member of the exclusive 'Centibillionaire Club' alongside Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and Microsoft’s Bill Gates.
Tech giants such as Facebook, Amazon, Apple, and Google have been among the biggest benefactors of coronavirus lockdowns and restrictions as more people shop, watch entertainment, and socialise online.
Zuckerberg’s personal wealth increased about $22b this year, while Bezos's has grown by more than $75b, according to Bloomberg.
The launch of Reels couldn’t have come at a better time for Facebook as Donald Trump issued an executive order to deal with what the US president called the "threat" of TikTok in the US.
Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Google owner Alphabet’s Sundar Pichai, and Apple’s Tim Cook - whose companies have a combined market value of about $5 trillion - parried a range of accusations that they crippled smaller rivals in their quest for market share.
US senator and former presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders this week unveiled the “Make Billionaires Pay Act plan to tax what he called “obscene wealth gains” made by billionaires during the coronavirus pandemic.
The act aims to tax 60% of the increase in a billionaire's net worth from the start of the pandemic through to the end of the year.
This article was originally published on BBC Tech.
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