1st October 2021
This week TikTok held its first public virtual product event ‘TikTok World’ where it announced a range of new tools and options to attract more advertising dollars.
In the week that it passed the billion-user milestone, TikTok held its first showcase event to share new features including brand safety controls and commerce tools to drive in-app shopping as it attempts to make its ad platform safer, smoother and more expansive.
Creative Solutions: To enhance brand and creator partnerships, TikTok announced updates to its TikTok Creator Marketplace portal to provide better filters to help brands find like-minded creators more easily, oversee elements of the creative process and have the ability to monitor real-time campaign performance. The addition of Open Application Campaigns will allow brands to post campaign briefs to creators so they can apply. The Creator Marketplace API will allow third-party platforms to “provide brands with additional tools and white-glove services that complement the Creator Marketplace, and make it easy to manage the entire end-to-end process”.
Commerce: TikTok Shopping was introduced with a suite of solutions, features and advertising tools to expand product listings and display ads and drive in-app shopping ahead of the holiday shopping season. The company said it would work with merchants in two ways, either a direct integration and full-service shopping solution where TikTok manages everything from shipping to fulfillment and point of purchase or alternatively, merchants can work with their preferred third-party partners. TikTok has Shopify, Square, Ecwid and PrestaShop available on the platform and expects WIX, SHOPLINE, OpenCart and BASE to be available soon. TikTok also said it will launch a TikTok Shopping API. ‘Product Links’ and ‘LIVE Shopping’ will enable brands to feature specific products in both in-feed ads and livestream videos, including dynamic links that drive users to instantly loaded product detail pages. Collection Ads will let brands include custom swipeable product cards in their in-feed video ads and Dynamic Showcase Ads will let brands serve personalized targeted video ads to users based on their interests. And to improve the ad experience Customised Instant Pages provides the opportunity to create landing pages that load 11x faster than standard mobile pages, so users can tap on a call-to-action and immediately see the brand’s information.
Brand Safety: Many brands have been wary of having a presence on TikTok due to concerns around ads appearing next to controversial content. It is an issue faced by all social media platforms, but TikTok has been the least trusted platform in this regard. In response, TikTok is introducing brand safety tools. Using machine-learning technology and content moderators, TikTok will start analyzing videos, audio clips and text and classify them based on level of risk, to give advertisers more control on what content their ads will run adjacent to. The Inventory Filter is aligned to the GARM Brand Safety and Suitability Framework to meet global, industry-wide standards.
The company also announced new partnerships with Integral Ad Science (IAS) and Zefr to help ensure that advertisers' campaigns run adjacent to content that's suitable for the brand.
Like all social platforms, creating an end-to-end in-app shopping experience is a key focus for TikTok so creating a safer platform to attract more brands will be key. TikTok was recently the subject of a WSJ investigation that used bots pretending to be 13 year old children to expose safety issues on the platform around unsuitable content and the latest GroupM review of TikTok in September continued to rate the platform ‘High Risk’ from a brand safety perspective for campaigns. TikTok will be hoping that many of the new features announced this week will go some way to addressing these issues.