TikTok, the short video making and sharing app owned by China’s ByteDance, is looking to expand its user base in India as a part of its monetisation strategy.
The app’s staple content base has come from short videos, movie clips, and karaoke videos. With a new, diverse user base, which brings in more engaging content to the platform, the app is looking to expand, hoping that the advertisers too will take notice of the increased user engagement.
On Sunday, TikTok launched a campaign, #MyTikTokStory, on the platform to encourage more Indians to create 15-second videos on cooking, do-it-yourself, sports, pottery, dancing and singing. The campaign followed a ‘Creators Lab’ event it arranged for more than 500 people in Mumbai on Friday. The social media company is hoping that diverse content will attract more advertisers to the platform.
“We are very clear that creators are a huge backbone. We believe that we have to invest in this creative community,” Sachin Sharma, head of ad sales at ByteDance India, told ET.
He also said that creators are an essential element to the business, and without them, there is no TikTok. He went on to say that the company is committed to diversifying its content. For now, the app and its content are not the best suited for brands and the kind of content they bid on.
“It is not just for brands, but we are hopeful brands will take notice of that,” he added.
TikTok is not the first brand to make efforts to expand its user base to have unique content. YouTube did the same in 2011, where it organised events, introduced grants, and opened creators’ hub and studios to generate more content and attract advertisers. The efforts of YouTube have paid off, and the creators who have stuck and prospered on the platform now make millions from their videos.
A similar advertising model could be followed for TikTok as well. It claims to have 200 Mn users in India, out of which 120 Mn are active users. The company’s monetisation efforts gained momentum after an interim ban on the app’s downloads was lifted by the Madras High Court in April. Since then, premier brands such as Snapdeal, Pepsi, Myntra, Shaadi.com, and Shopclues have been in the advertiser’s list.
In May, a few celebrities participated in Pepsi’s #SwagStepChallenge on TikTok, starting a dance challenge. The promotional videos saw TikTok users creating thousands of their own #SwagStepChallenge dancing videos that resulted in 8.6 Bn views.
It was also reported that ByteDance is getting into hardware with its own phone with pre-installed ByteDance’s apps such as TikTok, Toutiao, BuzzVideo, Vigo Video and more.