The rise of TikTok
Launched in 2012 in China by ByteDance, TikTok has now gathered over 1.5 billion app users with the vast majority of them residing in China. After aggressively expanding worldwide over the last few years, ByteDance merged Musical.ly into TikTok and brought its users over to the platform in August 2018. The app has been lauded as the highest downloaded app in 2019 till now with over 60 million installs. The app has already crossed over a billion downloads on the play/app store. According to Sensor Tower, India constitutes 44% of the total downloads in 2019 whereas the United States stands at 8%.
The app has targeted a generation with its perfect short attention span focussed videos. While the app’s popularity was initially considered as its fifteen minuted of fame, other social media platforms are now scrambling to match features with TikTok. Despite the plethora of issues that ByteDance has faced in 2019 regarding security, privacy, bans and many more, TikTok has seen the highest user spike and the other platforms user spike numbers don’t even compare. Now it doesn’t come as a surprise that the other platforms have evolved in the past year focussing their efforts on video content due to its surging popularity.
Analyzing the success of the app
Brands targeting Gen Z
Millennials and Gen X have been the prime spending target of brands for the past decade. But slowly creeps in Gen Z who is now moving to be the sole focus of brand campaigns. According to Greenroom’s Influencer Marketing report 2019, the bigger chunk of marketing now shifted to Gen Z. How TikTok shows its power here – the platform says that 41% of its audience is between the ages of 16 and 24, unlike Instagram which typically targets an older millennial audience. This is the age group that is not very available on Facebook and not much on Instagram either.
The “lenient” algorithm
Apart from its key demographic being Gen Z, the app claims that its core algorithm is more lenient, filling its stream of user-personalized content with videos from totally unknown accounts alongside those from the most-followed creators. Whereas platforms like Facebook and Instagram only push already famous influencers’ content as recommendations.
The younger generation feels that this app showcases its potential based on the popularity of the content and is not related to any previous engagement or numbers of their profile. Even small content creators have the potential to become famous in TikTok because it doesn’t promote your content based on follower count, views, etc. This is why there are a lot of content creators with high following in millions and smaller content creators have very comparable numbers on their content on TikTik. While this could lead to more options for brand collaborations with less budget, the shift could also move towards high content quality.
The rise of small stars as celebrities
The app has acted as a platform to launch many aspiring actors. TikTok veterans Avneet Kaur and Siddharth who lip-sync to dialogues and songs together now have landed themselves the lead roles in a telly show. Avneet has also managed to cast herself in a role in the movie Mardaani 2.
Not only aspiring actors but actors who have played smaller roles in movies and in shows resort to TikTok now for popularity. While their other platforms have their photos and other activities, TikTok has been solely reserved for them to showcase their talent. Even huge Bollywood celebrities and movie promoters have resorted to joining TikTik for their promotions.
Deepika Padukone recently announced her joining the app and did a Tiktok content bit for her recent Chappak promos.
Gully Boy’s music team put out their music and dialogues on TikTok allowing users to create videos out of it.
Some stars go the extra mile on TikTok. Movie leads Kangana Ranaut and Rajkummar Rao shot a video with TikTok influencers like Poonam Chaudhary and Krystal D’Souza for their movie Judgementall Hai Kya and released their own videos to the movie’s Wakhra Swag number.
TikTok’s Influence on Instagram
Instagram has always shown a tendency to adapt its competitor’s features when it poses a threat. Over the past few months, Instagram has become consistently more video focussed in forms of Stories and posts. Just like TikTok, Instagram is under public plans to release a feature allows users to record segments of videos into a single video story. In this new feature, users can overlay music on clips. users can adjust the speed and timer of each video clips.
Will TikTok become the new king of influencer marketing?
Brands have been treading carefully with ads on TikTok in 2019. In 2020, this will change as the product evolves and marketers become familiarised with the ways in which it can work for them. Ultimately, it looks as though TikTok is on the verge of either growing as a more viable (and ultimately profitable) influencer platform. While Instagram has been the reigning champ the past couple of years, TikTok could surge ahead if more brands switch to targeting the younger generation through its online campaigns.
The app is perfectly designed to create original content and launch micro-influencers.
A note of warning
Brands are still very wary of the app and holding themselves from allocating marketing budget for the app. A number of concerns have come up that has stopped the app from being trustworthy among brands.
In trouble with the law – The app has faced some challenges from various Governments in the form of bans. In India, after the app has taken off the Playstore once, TikTok had to assure that it would work on ways to monitor and remove troublesome content. The Government has been strict with the app demanding details from TikTok on what measures it is taking to curb abusive, obscene and or anti-India content within the app. Even though the app has been on thin ice with the country’s laws, TikTok has also confirmed that it is planning to invest 1 billion dollars in India over the next three years.
In trouble with users – TikTok also recently allegedly took down its user Aziz’s video which had anti-China content. Last month, the video-streaming app has to issue a public apology to Aziz for the suspension of her account.
What is your brand’s take on running a campaign on TikTok? Have you noticed changes in other platforms that take features from TikTok? If you are looking for guidance, Greenroom is here to help out. Do share your ideas and opinions with us below in the comments section or visit our website, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram pages to reach out to us.