TikTok has made a creator-friendly platform, this new launch is the company’s biggest monetization effort to date. 

Image credit: The Verge

Despite the threats of the US and India banning the app, TikTok continues to grow in popularity. The platform has become one of the major channels for brands and celebrities. To keep their interest and to encourage others to the platform, the company launce a $200 million creators fund. 

In its statement, TikTok said that the fund aims to support creators who are looking for opportunities to earn a living using their innovative content. The fund will be distributed in cash by the end of 2020. Their content is another way for creators and brands to make money in the app. In the past, creators can only earn income and monetize their accounts via live streamings or when they partner with other brands. 

Vanessa Pappas, TikTok’s general manager said that the platform wants to pay its creators regularly. The Creator Fund will help creators “realize additional earnings that reflect the tie, care, and dedication they put into creatively connecting with an audience that’s inspired by their ideas.” This new monetization method will help TikTok keep its creators in the platform instead of focusing on other social media platforms where they could monetize their content. 

The fund

Users who are 18 years old and above can be eligible for the cash fund. It’s also only available for users living in the US and those who post their videos that comply with the company’s guidelines. Creators can start applying for the program beginning next month, however, TikTok has not announced the exact number of creators that can avail the program. 

TikTok’s battle 

The US government continues to be vocal in its plan of banning the app due to Chinese ownership over security risk claims. Despite that, TikTok is unfazed and recently announced its plans of opening 10,000 jobs over the next three years. The company has also separated itself from China and made its app unavailable for the country. ByteDance also said that it’s planning to make a corporate restructuring and establish its HQ outside China. The Creator Fund is also another strategy for the company to keep its app working in the US soil. As the fund is made available to only US creators, it’s strongly positioning itself as a company that committed to the US. 

Snapchat is positioning itself as a direct competition to ByteDance’s TikTok.

Snapchat confirmed the news that it’s testing a new experience that is similar to TikTok. Users can now move through Snapchat’s public posts and content using a vertical wiping motion. This gesture has been widely popularized by TikTok. Snapchat isn’t the only one out to compete with TikTok and trying to copy its feature into their own. Instagram recently released Instagram’s Reels, a short-video platform for its users. YouTube also followed suit with a short-form-set-to-music format. Snapchat is the newest social media platform that’s out to replicate TikTok’s success. 

Snapchat’s test for vertical scrolling

Snapchat said that the test us only for contents that are published publicly and readily available in Snapchat Discover. This doesn’t include the users’ friends’ private Stories. Social media consultant Matt Navarra first spotted the new test. The company didn’t comment further and chose to not offer specific details about it. Snapchat, however, said the test is still in its early stages and only a very small percentage of Snapchat’s global users have this option. In a statement to TechCrunch, a Snapchat spokesperson said that their team has always been looking for ways to improve user experience in the platform. They continually look for ways to make their content more engaging to the community. 

Investing in the Indian market 

India recently announced that its banning TikTok and 53 other Chinese apps. The action came after a border dispute the two countries had in the previous week. Facebook took advantage of this and introduced Instagram Reels to its Indian users. Snapchat is seemingly following Facebook’s steps as well. 

Snapchat rolled out Here for You feature in the country in partnership with Mariwala Health Initiative. It’s a feature that promotes mental health and offers help for Snap users who are dealing with an emotional crisis. It’s also a way to address the issue and educate others about it.

The feature was a result of research conducted by Snap last year. The research revealed that an alarming rate of Snapchat users are suffering from anxiety and stress. Most of them turn to their friends for help and support, their friends have become a positive influence in their lives and they’ve become the people who have helped them face their depression. 

The feature educates its users on what depression is and what it means to have a mental health crisis. 

The secretary of state says that the government is considering banning TikTok and other Chinese apps. 

Following the tensions between the US and China, the US government is now considering banning Chinese social media apps including TikTok. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo told Reuters that they are looking into it as lawmakers raised national security concerns due to the app’s way of handling user data and how the Chinese government requires its domestic companies to support the intelligence work of the Chinese Communist Party. 

Although Because of TikTok’s involvement with ByteDance, being it the parent company, the US government is concerned about the possibility of the Chinese intelligence pressuring TikTok for handing over its data to the Communist Party. 

India bans TikTok and other Chinese apps

The Indian government first announced its decision to ban TikTok and other Chinese apps into its land after their border clash. Facebook took advantage of it and released Instagram Rels, an app with similar features. The government accused the banned apps of engaging in activities that are prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of India. 

In response, TikTok sai that the company has complied with all the data privacy and security requirements imposed by the Indian government. The company has not violated any law and has not shared any information about the users to any foreign government including the Chinee Communist Party.         

TikTok separates itself from China

 With the international success of TikTok, it’s been pushing forth much effort in distancing itself from China to avoid disputes. The app is not available in China and it’s reported that it’s exiting the Hong Kong market as well. At the moment, TikTok has an American CEO and hundreds of employees and leaders across the US. The company’s goal it so makes the app secure and safe for all its users. Tiktok has said that they’ve never given any data to the Chinese government and will not do so even if the Chinese government asks for it.      

What does this mean for you?                                

 TikTok has a massive user base in the US and it’s the most downloaded app in the first half of 2020. That said, it’s a golden opportunity for brands and advertisers to jump into. Recently, TikTok is placing itself in a good position in the advertising market and opened the TikTok for Business for SMBs, brands, and advertisers. If the ban will be pushed through, it will be a great loss for many brands who have started to use the platform for their marketing strategy.

TikTok is ripe for advertisers and marketers. It’s a platform with various tools to help them use the app for their ad campaigns. 

TikTok, a ByteDance-owned company announced its new offering for businesses on its website. The TikTok for Business will be a new way to bring solutions to marketers and advertisers for their ad campaigns. There are tips, links to other TikTok tools, and note that will be helpful for them in creating creative and positive trends for their brands. 

This is TikTok’s first solid step in its plans of making the app more accessible for brands and advertisers. It’s the core of their strategy of building the platform towards the digital advertising front. 

Don’t make ads, make TikToks 

TikTok’s ad slogan is Don’t Make Ads, Make TikToks, is call to action for advertisers to change the traditional means of reaching out to their audiences. Instead of using the usual marketing strategies, TikTok is encouraging brands to use their creative minds in creating TikTok content. 

The app has introduced some advertising options in the past including brand takeovers, hashtag challenges, AR content, customer influencer package, and more. Brand Takeovers are 3-5 seconds ads, either an image or a video. The Hashtag Challenges is a way for brands to get in touch and engage with their followers/customers directly. Brands can invite people to participate in the challenge and hashtag that they’ve picked. 

What does this mean for you?

Tiktok was the most downloaded app in the first quarter of 2020 surpassing other giant apps like Facebook and WhatsApp. This launch is putting TikTok front and center in the digital advertising space. With Facebook facing brand boycott due to its actions, or lack thereof, regarding sensitive subjects such as racism and injustice, it may be high time for brands to consider other methods in increasing their brand awareness. Based on a report from Apptopia last January, TikTok in-app revenue increased to 310% on a year-on-year basis. By far, it’s one of the most brand accessible platforms existing today. 

TikTok is an evolving platform and the trend changes by the hour. It’s also putting much effort into user experience rather than monetization. The apps’ algorithm isn’t easy to navigate, but with the launch of Tiktok for Busines, brands and marketers no longer have to rely on YouTube tutorials on how to use the platform. 

There have been no reports as to the pricing of the business tool but it’s assumed to be lower as compared to other platforms. 

YouTube is reportedly rolling out a TikTok competition called Shorts. 

YouTube is the king of video content. However, with the coming of TikTok and its short videos in the scene, users’ attention has been divided. To combat this Youtube has decided to release a new feature – Shorts.

In the latest reports, TikTok has amassed almost 2 billion installs and has become the most popular non-gaming app. Beating other giant tech media including Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, TikTok isn’t playing around. The surge is even more apparent with the spread of the coronavirus. TikTok is now the go-to app for many users. 

YouTube’s Shorts

YouTube is reportedly making a new feature that would compete against TikTok’s short videos and will be called Shorts. The feature will be launched in the mobile app by the end of 2020 as an attempt to rival TikTok. It will be similar to TikTok in that users can swipe through the short-form content. 

Business Insider reports that Youtube’s new addition may pose a threat to TikTok due to YouTube’s solid roots. The app has been around since 2005 and is the most popular video-sharing platform. Shorts will be tied into YouTube’s apps which means it will already have a massive number of users by the time it rolls out. There’s no need for YouTube to convince people to download the app on their phones. 

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki said in an interview, with NBC News’ Byers Market Podcast, the feature will be short-form videos. In fact, The videos will last for 15 seconds. She added that they’ve introduced YouTube stories recently and have seen how creators have been engaging more by making content and connecting with their subscribers. 

What does this mean for you?

Shorts will be another strategy that brands and marketers can use to further their reach and increase brand awareness. It’s also a new way for them to show their short video ad campaigns. Since Shorts will be integrated with the YouTube app, brands wont to convince followers to download another app. Now, they will already have a following the moment Shorts is released before the year ends. 
It may be time for advertisers to start creating short video campaigns to easily put their ads into YouTube’s Shorts.

ByteDance’s TikTok is opening a huge office in L.A. with over 400 employees. 

TikTok is creating its very first content creation studio. Coming summer, TikTok is finishing a creator space for the platform’s big personalities. TikTok is collaborating with Gensler, a globally known architecture and design firm.  TikTok’s creator space will narrow the competition between larger social media platforms and TikTok.

The new company building 

TikTok started organizational changes starting last year and their expected to keep expanding TikTok’s reach on into 2020. Vanessa Pappas, TikTok’s U.S. general manager stated, “We’re proud to be bringing more jobs to the Los Angeles area and we’ve built a talented, passionate team here, including key leadership hires across functions like product, content, music, safety, and operations. They want to further their bond with local talent and companies.”

Pappas further added that TikTok‘s creator space is mindful of the environment. The social platform chose their building with the planet in mind. Tik Tok’s new space is LEED Gold-certified. This means that the space will exceed normal California building standards.

The internal offices and designs are focused on conserving energy consumption and reducing CO2 emissions. This promotes a healthy environment for all its employees and executives. 

The new content creation hub is expected to house collaboration, creators, and partners. The office will be located in Culver City and is intended to foster creativity and freedom. 

Growth of TikTok 

From a video sharing app with 15-second, TikTok has sure come a long way. Since its creation three years ago, TikTok has grown to an estimated value of $75 billion. TikTok has drawn a huge user base in the U.S. market. Companies such as Facebook and Youtube now consider TikTok a competitor.

With a new content creation studio coming to L.A., odds are they will be directly competing with YouTube and their YouTube Spaces. The area will encourage more quality content from its creators. 

Facebook-owned, Instagram also has an in-house production house in L.A. which offers creators with a space where they are just free to create their content for social media. 

Borrowing the same concept, TikTok is creating a model of their own for a community for its creators. Creators on TikTok are gaining more followers faster than similar platforms have. Influencers have brighter chances in making it big on TikTok than in YT and IG. While this strategy for growth is similar to that of its predecessors TikTok provides a new audience and a new take on the social platform.

Despite the decrease, Instagram grows in profits

With apps like TikTok pulling from their users base Instagram is seeing a substantial decreased growth. The platform has had a slow decline in growth, though the percentage has just recently dipped below the double-digit mark. 

Since Facebook purchased Instagram in 2012 the platform grew exponentially. From June of 2016 to June of 2018 the platform doubled in size going from 500 million users to 1 billion active users. Additionally, it was estimated that Instagram generated 14 billion in revenue.  

Though when compared to Instagram, The Verge reported, TikTok is coming up on 1.5 billion users since it’s launch outside of China.

Emarketer estimated that Instagram’s decline isn’t a just phase and the growth will continue to diminish over the coming years. 

“Growth will be at 4.5% in 2020, revised down from 5.4%, and in 2021, it will be 3.2% instead of 4.1%. Contributing to Instagram’s overall slower growth is the fact that older age groups are not joining the platform as quickly as anticipated.”

All of that to say while Instagram is seeing a continued decrease in users joining the platform that can’t detract from the fact that Instagram is a powerhouse.  

Social media is an industry that is always in flux. New competitors are arriving every year to take a bite out of the industry, and Instagram isn’t a spring chicken when it comes to what’s new. 

Despite the news that the platform isn’t growing by leaps and bounds, “Instagram will account for nearly 25 percent of Facebook’s ad revenue in 2020. This figure is expected to grow to 30 percent by 2020.” 

These stats make sense when considering that 63% of Instagram users log in each day. 

The real take away from this news is that while Instagram has seen a decrease in news users the platform is on track to be more profitable than it has ever been, and will continue to see high amounts of traffic. 

TikTok deals with the inevitable big demands that come with big budgets.

ByteDance owned TikTok will be the center of attraction in 2020 as various marketers and publishers envelop its billion-plus users. While most of its are from Gen Z, TikTok gained inevitable investors. While the increasing demand is a good thing, the downside to that is how the budget tends to increase and hike up as well. 

Demand will be could be overwhelming for TikTok this 2020 and so will TikToks’s budget. The video-sharing app will have to be extra careful in picking its marketing partners. 

The rapid rise of TikTok 

TikTok has risen in popularity over the last year and has explored the ad-supported industry. It ran its first official ad campaign just a year ago and since then, ads came flocking to the platform over the last six months. This happened while TikTok is testing features designed to make things easier for advertisers.

Sensor Tower also reported in November that the video-sharing social networking service surpassed more than 1.5 billion app downloads on the App Store and Google Play. TikTok hit 655.8 million unique installs making it the fourth most downloaded non-gaming app in the world last year.

TikTok in 2020

TikTok is expected to launch a self-serve ad model (that is currently in beta testing) this year. This will make it much easier for marketers to buy ads without going through the app’s sales team, similar to what is currently going on.

The director of social for OMG, Carly Carson said that the self-serve platform of TikTok is a good start. But it is better with more advanced targeting opportunities such as to target outside audiences of age and demographic. Built-in and integrated customer relationship management (CRM) is also expected by Carson this year.

TikTok also needs to rush ads API  (application programming interface) if it wants to attract SMB advertisers. The API, along with adding third-party partners will please advertisers as it helps in measurement and brand safety. Carson further added that “having additional brand safety levers in reporting and measurement on TikTok’s side for monitoring will also be very important”.

Another expected addition to the platform is “meeting the needs of advertisers without diluting its creative appeal to users.” TikTok’s content is great and authentic to the platform that it attracts billion of users. Adding too much ad inventory may cause its original content to be washed out. The social media sensation continues to strive and rise to set the platform apart from its social network rivals amidst the higher expectations this year 2020.