Need to know

  • Known as Douyin in its native China, TikTok was launched by owner ByteDance in 2016. It has since been downloaded more than one billion times and has mounting influence in youth culture
  • Douyin and TikTok are potentially redefining the concept of short-from video for brands
  • Users can create and share vertical video clips lasting up to 15-seconds, and consume and comment on UGC through an AI-powered, feed-style interface
  • TikTok currently has four key ad formats: brand takeover, in-feed native video, hashtag challenge and branded lenses
  • Its rapid rise has been marred by controversies related to brand safety, child exploitation and data privacy concerns which led to a temporary ban in some markets
  • Advertisers committing to activity on TikTok should adopt a ‘test and learn’ approach, and ensure they have measures in place to handle any potential brand safety issues, especially given the young age of most of the app’s users
  • Brands looking to target teen and young adult audiences – whether current or next generation customers – should consider the impact TikTok is having on video consumption habits
  • It is advisable that brands create bespoke video for TikTok, rather than re-purposing existing social video content. Marketers must decide whether this additional production cost is worth the investment
  • Partnerships with TikTok influencers may offer a more economical method of experimenting with the platform, as well as helping to ensure content relevancy
  • TikTok is the first Chinese media owner to truly change the mobile usage and content consumption habits at a global level, ushering in new user expectations of shorter video experiences, a fresh take on the idea of social media influencers, and the beginnings of a Chinese ascendency in the media space
  • Trend overview