The Age of TikTok

TikTok is one of the fastest growing platforms with over two billion downloads and 800 million active users worldwide since its release in 2016. The platform boasts original content which users can recreate which gives the platform its virality. TikTok is known for attracting a younger audience, primarily teens and young adults ages 1624 due to the platforms authenticity and less polished content.  The app, however, has also seen an increase in adults downloading and using the app by 5.5 times within the past 18 months, diversifying the platforms audience portfolio. 

The app has seen tremendous success with the type of content that gets produced as these short video clips have the power to go viral in very little time. While most of the ideas on TikTok are recycled, people enjoy watching each other’s version of the trend while potentially not even being aware of the original video. The most viral ad campaign in TikTok history comes from e.l.f. Cosmetics after they created a hashtag challenge inviting makeup lovers to transform their look using their original audio “Eyes. Lips. Face.” in 2019. The challenge boasted over 5 billion views in addition to the 3 million TikTok videos made featuring the original song. The makeup brand is smashing records again as their new #elfMagicAct challenge surpassed 1 billion views in only three days. 

TikTok has become more and more advertiser friendly, as their fully-integrated, sound-on entertainment platform provides a seamless user-friendly experience with few interruptions as ads blend in well with user-content.  

The five different ad types that TikTok offers include: 

  • Brand Takeover: Collaborations with brands 
  • In-Feed: Appears within content feed 
  • Branded Challenges: Increase audience engagement by encouraging users to participate in hashtag challenges 
  • Branded Scan-Augmented Reality: lets marketers create immersive branded experiences with AR technology 
  • TopView: the first video you see when you open the app (60s) 

The app also makes connecting brands with influencers convenient and easy with their new creator marketplace. The new marketplace also has an analytics tool that shows creator’s performance metrics including engagement, reach, demographics, and views. The platform also just recently released its own self-serve tools allowing advertisers to launch campaigns, access campaign metrics, and conduct reporting on their own. The platform also plans on launching tools for performance targeting and analysis in order to strengthen and reinforce its performance marketing capabilities per a company release.  

Since TikToks launch in 2016, the app has become a frontrunner in the space as it was ranked the second most downloaded app in 2019 behind WhatsApp, and followed by Facebook Messenger, Facebook, and Instagram. While there is stiff competition within the advertising space, TikTok may reign as the leader since Gen Z will account for 40% of all U.S. consumers for 2020, allowing opportunity for continuous growth for the platform. However, in response to TikTok’s popularity, Facebook will be launching Instagram Reels, which will have a similar blue print to TikTok, allowing users to create and share short video clips, which will then be borrowed and remixed by other users. 

There is also a lot of controversy surrounding the app in terms of safety and privacy, specifically concerns over the possible data sharing with the Chinese government. TikTok denies these claims, however India has already banned the app completely. Australia has made a public statement urging those to be aware of the data that is being shared the app and believe that the app could be a threat to their national-security, while the United States is considering banning the app and other social media applications also due to security concerns.  

Given these controversies and the possible banning of TikTok, Microsoft released a statement that they are working on a deal that could be worth up to $30B to acquire the trendy social app in the United States by September 15. 

Want to stay on top of emerging media and learn more about whether TikTok is right for your business? Contact us today! 

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