TikTok clone Zynn hits number one on the App Store thanks to pyramid scheme

Zynn (Image credit: Zynn)

What you need to know

  • A new TikTok clone has taken the App Store by storm.
  • Zynn is backed by a rival to TikTok parent company Bytedance.
  • Zynn uses a very aggressive reward scheme to attract users.

A new TikTok clone has taken the App Store by storm and is currently sitting at number one in the charts thanks to an aggressive rewards model that looks an awful lot like a pyramid scheme.

As reported by MashableUK:

If you've visited the App Store on your iPhone over the past few days, you might have noticed an app you've never heard of before occupying the number one spot on the charts.The app, Zynn, is a brand-new, short-form video platform that launched earlier this month on Apple's App Store and Google Play. So what is it? A glance at Zynn's barebones website shows nothing more than links to the aforementioned app stores and a few screenshots of the app, which appears to be very reminiscent of TikTok.

Zynn is reportedly backed by a "billion-dollar business" that rivals TikTok parent company Bytedance. When you sign in, you immediately get $1 in your account. Referring a friend gets you $20, and you get an extra $10 for every five friends you refer to.

The pyramid scheme was spotted on Twitter by Turner Novak:

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The company behind Zynn, Kuaishou also runs the second most popular short-form video app in China behind Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok. As Mashable notes:

Just this past December, Kuaishou was valued at $28 billion in a financing round that included some of the biggest Chinese tech companies like Baidu and Tencent. The company earned $5.7 billion in revenue last year.With that kind of backing and a monetized user acquisition model, it seems pretty clear that Kuaishou is going after TikTok's U.S. market dominance with Zynn.

The report notes that the app has plenty of comments on videos, but is "lacking in actual visual content", meaning it currently doesn't pose much of a threat to TikTok.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9