A Different View on TikTok: Influencers and Advertising

In this article, we’ll cover some interesting facts about TikTok and present you with this rapidly expanding social network from a slightly different angle. Although TikTok has only been on the market for 4 years, the extreme growth of this network is a good incentive to learn more about the way it operates. 

TikTok is an application that originated in China (found by the startup company ByteDance and named Douyin) but has built its success well beyond Chinese borders. Problems on US soil have been known since before because America doesn’t want Chinese applications and devices in its area. But users disagree as well as TikTok’s leadership, which is making a significant effort to expand the number of its users outside China.

Interestingly, although ByteDance owns many popular applications in China, a huge portion of its resources has been focused on developing TikTok beyond Chinese borders. Regardless of the US resistance to TikTok, this app gained 37.2 million users in this country in 2019, which will increase to 45.4 million in 2020 and reach 60.3 million by the end of 2024, market research company eMarketer projects. One more figure goes into the favor of the growing popularity of TikTok – it received more Google searches in the week ending 11th April 2020 than in any other week since its worldwide launch in 2017.

Here are some interesting things to know about TikTok…

TikTok Pays Influencers to Join the Network

TikTok quickly realized that quality user growth could only be achieved if celebrities showed up on it. So they started with an interesting practice where they paid famous influencers to join TikTok and start creating content for that social network. According to information available to the public, the influencer who opted to join TikTok received a $ 500 award.

We don’t know if TikTok is still doing this kind of promotion but we’re sure that all the money invested has paid off. It’s no secret, TikTok is very close to Instagram in terms of the number of active users, which has become one of the most popular social networks in recent years (Instagram 1 billion, TikTok 800 million). The concept of paying influencers a fee has proven to be a hit, and it will be interesting to see if any future social network will follow the same path. Now at TikTok, we have creative influencers who are inviting new users but also we have very active users, many of whom publish new video content every day. A win-win situation for all parties involved.

Significant Increase in Advertising on TikTok

If the social network is to maintain quality and continuity, it needs to have a quality source of revenue. Although it may not seem at first glance to users but functioning and maintaining a social network is an extremely expensive business. Just imagine the servers that contain all that video content that users publish on TikTok every day – it’s a huge expense that only the social networking system creates. Therefore, just like other social networks, TikTok has decided to popularize advertising in order to generate enough revenue for further growth and development.

It’s almost unbelievable that in the last quarter of 2019, TikTok’s revenues increased by as much as 300% compared to the same quarter a year earlier. Advertizing on TikTok, for now, is extremely expensive and can only be afforded by large companies. Creating a hashtag challenge, for example, will cost the brand at least $ 100,000, while individual brand advertising can cost between $ 20,000 and $ 200,000. TikTok can’t (currently) run an ad campaign for less than $ 50 a day.

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Influencer Earnings on TikTok Much Higher Than on Instagram

In addition to making big “bucks” on standard TikTok advertising methods, influencers can also grab significant amounts when advertising a particular brand. According to available statistics, influencer earnings on TikTok can be up to 10 times higher than on Instagram, for example. Speaking of specific figures, an influencer with more than 2.5 million followers can earn $ 600- $ 1,000 per post on TikTok, while getting only $ 100- $ 200 on Instagram.

Although advertising on TikTok is still in a stage of development, the fact is that it won’t be significantly different from advertising on other social networks. TikTok ads can link to websites, apps, or promote hash tags. As for the influencers themselves, they are in a good situation right now because there’s still not much competition on TikTok so they can make big money for their promotional activities. But in the coming months, we’ll see in which direction advertising on TikTok will develop and whether it will become accessible to everyone.