Although the tech billionaire wasn’t able to hold the title for long, it was still an impressive feat for someone who is just 36 years old. The news broke on Friday after Instagram stepped in direct competition with TikTok by releasing a video platform called Reel, which is almost identical to its Chinese nemesis.
The news of the launch added 12% to Facebook’s stock value overnight, sending Mark Zuckerberg’s net worth soaring to $100 billion. The CEO woke up on Friday $5.3 billion richer, but the excitement was short-lived as the stock prices went down by the afternoon. Facebook still ended the week on a high note with an 8% increase in its share value, outperforming both the Dow Jones and S&P averages.
Even though Zuckerberg owns only 15% of the entire company, the 12% increase in its stock value added billions to his net worth. Currently, the CEO is worth $98.6 billion, according to Forbes — just a hair away from $100 billion.
Facebook’s new launch was timed perfectly to undercut its weakening opponent, TikTok, after former President Trump threatened to ban it in the United States. On July 31st, the US president called the Chinese app a national security threat but many people think that he might be holding a personal grudge ever since TikTok promoted a prank pulled on his presidential rally earlier in June.
Trump proved that he wasn’t simply shooting empty threats, instead, he issued an order that could push TikTok’s creator, ByteDance, out of the country for good. But the Chinese tech company isn’t going down without a fight. Following the executive order ByteDance threatened to sue the US government, although taking the legal route could cost it precious time.
With TikTok in trouble, other social media apps are rushing in to seize the opportunity. Several tech companies are negotiating a potential acquisition of ByteDance’s video-sharing platform, including Microsoft which is seeking to buy TikTok’s operations in the US, New Zealand, Australia, and Canada.
Microsoft’s co-founder and former CEO, Bill Gates, is also a billionaire in his own rights even though he owns a fraction of the tech company. However, his $113.6 billion net worth didn’t budge after Microsoft announced the ongoing negotiations with ByteDance. The company’s stock only rose 3.6%.