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The Latest App Sensation: TikTok

TikTok is the latest mobile app to take the internet – and world – by storm. Formerly known as the app musical.ly, TikTok is a short-form video app that prides itself on “mak[ing] every second count.” Released in the United States in 2017 after its initial release in China in 2016, the app has recently become an online sensation.

So what is TikTok really about, and why should brands care?

Similar to Vine™, the video hosting service that shut down in January 2017, TikTok is a destination for short, usually comical, mobile video content. Describing itself as an asset for “from the gut, ‘come as you are’ storytelling,” TikTok allows its users to “take [their] videos to the next level with special effects, filters, fun stickers, music and more.” With nearly one million ratings, TikTok ranks 10th on the charts for free mobile apps in Apple’s App Store and 4th on the charts for free mobile apps in Google Play as of March 15, 2019.

TikTok videos have become extremely popular on social media platforms such as Twitter, YouTube and Instagram. Many Twitter users retweet and create memes of the 15-second videos; social media icon Kris Jenner took to Twitter recently to share her own TikTok meme poking fun at her ‘momager’ tendencies. A quick YouTube search of TikTok results in a list of videos with view counts ranging from the thousands to millions. The app’s Instagram has a whopping 17.9 million followers and TikTok only seems to be rising from there. TikTok has been downloaded more than 1 billion times globally.

Biddable ads are said to be coming to TikTok this summer, which could make it a huge tool for brands. Ad placement on up-and-coming apps with a young user and audience base, like TikTok, is a sure way to reach the Gen Z demographic. Brands could use the platform for in-feed video ads, banner ads, branded lenses or brand takeovers. But, like any social media platform, brands should be thoughtful and strategic about how this new medium advances their goals and would support their brand voice.

If your business is looking for strategies on what social media platforms to use to reach your target audiences, reach out to Nuffer, Smith, Tucker.

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