Over one billion people tune into TikTok every month looking for entertainment, hacks, travel tips and more. TikTok has become one of the leading platforms for culture and trends, taking a user-centric approach.
We’ve pulled together the key trends and updates you need to know to optimise your TikTok efforts.
Discovery has always been huge on TikTok, particularly regarding travel destinations and tips. TikTok has leaned into this with a new discovery section for local travel tips and locations. TikTok has created a banner within the Discover page that allows users to find #PlacesToVisit within their areas.
The banner takes users through to a landing page where they can select an area to view travel tips on, and a submission form to have their own content shown on the discovery page. Users select a location and they are taken through a page dedicated to content around that city.
They can view popular creators in the area, the best places to visit as chosen by others, trending sounds, restaurants, local shops, and the top things to do.
Influencer-led livestream events
As TikTok developed its live commerce capabilities, there has been a significant increase in the number of influencer-led livestream shopping events. Instead of influencers hosting shoppable livestreams on a brand-owned channel, they are held on the influencers’ own profile.
Shoppable livestreams are social media’s version of shopping channels such as QVC. When they are hosted by an influencer, they have the benefit of being presented by someone who has an engaged audience that trusts their opinions and recommendations, leading to more sales.
Influencers can work with one brand specifically or multiple brands. As with branded livestreams, influencers can link products mentioned within the livestream in the shoppable cart. In addition, influencers are often able to offer their audiences exclusive discounts.
TikTok Platform Updates
TikTok 10-minute videos
TikTok has rolled out 10-minute videos to all creators. While users aren’t yet able to record 10 minute videos within the platform itself, they can be uploaded to the platform. The new time limit increase allows TikTok creators to make long-form content, something other social platforms already offer.
While users can now upload long-form content, the popularity of TikTok lies within its quick, entertaining short-form videos. According to TikTok’s own data, creators actually prefer short-form content. However, the offer of long-form means TikTok can now directly compete with YouTube.
The new feature will keep certain creators on the platform, although TikTok does need to refine its monetisation policies and creator funds if it wants creators to make long-form content. Long-form content presents the opportunity for screen mid-roll ads, similar to YouTube.
TikTok expands Stories pilot
TikTok began testing Stories in summer of 2021, and has now expanded its pilot tests. TikTok Stories last for 24 hours before they are deleted and can be viewed through the For You Page or by navigating to a user’s profile and clicking their profile picture. Users with access to the feature can see how many people have viewed their Story, but not the exact profiles of who. Contrary to other platforms offering a similar feature, users can leave public comments on TikTok Stories.
Stories offer creators and brands a new creative way to engage their TikTok community. With TikTok Stories, creators and brands can share unpolished moments—snapshots into their everyday lives or behind the scenes of a product or campaign launch.
We expect TikTok Stories to eventually have ad integration too. Stories present an opportunity for advertisers to reach their audiences using a new format that keeps users scrolling through content for longer.
Not all users have access to this feature yet; if you don’t have the feature, you can’t see stories that users with the feature have uploaded.
TikTok SoundOn platform
TikTok has launched its own music marketing and distribution platform, SoundOn, to help more artists get their music heard. The new platform allows artists to upload their music directly to TikTok and to parent company ByteDance’s own music streaming service Resso, in addition to global streaming platforms including Apple Music, Spotify, Pandora, Deezer and Tencent’s Joox.
SoundOn is designed to support unsigned artists as they begin their music careers. Its main USP is its direct links to TikTok as the platform has become a power player within the music industry thanks to its viral audio trends—67% of TikTok users are more likely to seek out songs after hearing them on the platform.
To boost SoundOn artists on TikTok, the music platform gives them exposure through TikTok creators. Fans then follow artists on music streaming services, where that loyalty is converted into revenue.
As well as building their TikTok presence, SoundOn opens up opportunities for brands to partner with lesser-known musicians to help boost their campaigns.
TikTok launches Agency Centre
Certain users have reported a new Agency Centre option within their TikTok Live settings. The Agency Centre menu allows creators to toggle on agency invitation, which will allow agencies to discover their account. When the programme is complete, talent agencies will be able to invite creators to join their network.
The Agency Centre will boost creator discovery within professional audiences and allow creators to benefit from channel development using guidance and advice from industry professionals. This is particularly useful for creators working within the gaming, fashion, food and beauty industries, where live content is hugely beneficial for community building.
For brands, the programme means brands can easily source talent to partner with as agencies can build up a strong network of appropriate creators.
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