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TikTok makes me feel 850 years old so let’s break it down a bit

Updated: Aug 28, 2020

So why is it taking off?

Whilst already popular, somewhat unsurprisingly, it seems that the platform has benefited massively from COVID-19 as usage soars and the number of creators grows. TikTok boasts a uniquely high user engagement, with average user time a whopping 52 minutes and 29% engagement rate.

Who's using it locally?

As of Feb, 2020 Roy Morgan shared that over 1.6 million Australian’s are using TikTok.

In fact, TikTok is second only to Youtube for Australian Gen Z and Gen Alpha.

Meaning it is far more popular than Instagram and Facebook amongst this demographic. In Australia, there is a much higher female user base than males at 1.1 million females to 510,000 males.

See below demographic break down:

Source 1: Roy Morgan Single Source, July – December 2019, n=6,816. Base: Australians aged 14+. Source 2: Roy Morgan Young Australians Survey, July – December 2019, n= 1,047. Base: Young Australians aged 6-13 years old. *Generations: Pre-Boomers (born before 1946), Baby Boomers (born 1946-60), Generation X (born 1961-75), Millennials (born 1976-90), Generation Z (born 1991-2005), Generation Alpha (born since 2006).

So how can we use it as marketers?

TikTok is now an approved app within the Audience Networks placement, meaning Facebook ads can appear on TikTok when selected. However, currently self-serve isn’t quite ready yet. According to We Are Social, Agencies and brands will likely have to wait until Q4 for the scheduled rollout.

Brands can look to TikTok influencers as a great way to reach desired audience members, similarly to how we use social media influencers on Instagram, Youtube and less popularly, Pinterest.TikTok creators create video content only and the platform has a strong bias toward humour-based and music-based content. Many ‘TikTok Challenges’ centre around users creating parodies to popular songs, with a humorous spin. Although there are some creators who use it for workout videos, gardening, life hacks, fashion inspo and more – comedy is definitely the dominant theme.

So if it’s popular amongst young people, it must be pretty innocent?

TikTok has been under fire for multiple taboo offenses, such as suppressing ‘ugly creators’, people with disabilities, ‘poor people’ and even LGBTIQA+ creators – the app even admitted to this as part of it’s algorithm.

There has also been a number of TikTok related deaths globally, such as this particularly controversial case of a user in India who died whilst creating a TikTok video

The Madras high court even urged the government to ban TikTok as it ‘Encourages pornography’

Furthermore, there’s been some odd activity in the US with ‘TikTok houses’ known as ‘Hype Houses’ - where other creatives live together and assist (and at times force?) each other into creating content for the platform. Reports state it’s absolutely NOT a party house, the rules are pretty strict and you’re expected to create daily content. Sounds, fun?

Overall, aside from the issues that come with most platforms today, Tik Tok is a fun and user-friendly creative platform that can also lead significant commercial success. Reach out to Hien, Sam or Kitch for more info on TikTok challenges, creators and how it could be relevant to you or your clients.

Kitch Catterall

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