If there was any doubt that short-form video would play a massive role in the future of media and communications, Bytedance-owned TikTok has erased it.
The popularity of short-form video content has helped spur many imitators, including Instagram Reels and the recently released Snapchat Spotlight.
But what makes TikTok, well, TikTok?
For one, TikTok is not based on a social graph, says Matty Lin, TikTok’s managing director of monetization and partnerships.
“We are a content platform,” he says. “People come here to discover and create content.”
And the more people come, the more marketers are interested, especially as TikTok continues to mature as an advertising platform. Over the past year, TikTok made its self-serve ad platform available globally, launched a business hub for its marketing solutions and introduced a marketing partner program.
One of TikTok’s priorities in 2021 is to continue building ecommerce experiences. Late last year, just before the holidays, TikTok partnered with Walmart for a livestreamed shopping event where TiKTok users could buy fashion items from Walmart without leaving TikTok.
“It’s [about] how can we embed that shopping experience into the day-to-day usage of the platform,” Lin says.