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Tik Tok App Brings a New Traffic Empire for the Merchants in China

By ESC Editorial Team, over 5 years ago Business
Tik Tok App Brings a New Traffic Empire for the Merchants in China


Andy Warhol, the leading figure in the Pop art movement, famously said that “everyone will be famous for 15 minutes”. This quote is definitely an understatement for China's Tik Tok App, which has been famous for more than 20 months. Tik Tok App is a short creative music video and social sharing application for young people. The application was launched in September 2016. Considered trendy and cool, the short video Apps quickly exploded in 2018 in the Chinese social media circle.

According to Sensor Tower, an online platform for application developers, Tik Tok App had 45.8 million downloads in the first quarter of this year, which surpassed Facebook, YouTube and Instagram, and became the world’s most downloaded iPhone application. Tik Tok is building a new traffic empire.

Article Frame

How does Tik Tok App attract users?

"Magic Rule Maker" - Platform Algorithm

How does a 15-second video create value?

How Does Tik Tok App Attract Users?

As a platform, Tik Tok's content is produced by hundreds of millions of users. How does Tik Tok combine the platform and users and encourage users to create 15-second short videos, which will attract more users to join Tik Tok? This is important for innovation in product design.

(1) Music guide show

Tik Tok encourages users to create videos based on the music on its platform. Music has a special influence that cleverly solves "no shooting experience" and inspires users to take a short video with entertainment.

(2) Powerful filters and special effects

In Tik Tok’s study of users, 45% of users wanted “cool shooting effects”. Tik Tok has worked hard for this aspect. Taking the hair dye effect as an example, it is not a simple AR sticker, but requires a strong technology to support it. From the hair tracking foundation through the self-developed colouring system to the self-developed network structure, all these are difficult to achieve and cannot be replaced by other companies.

(3) Topic challenge

In a user survey report by Tik Tok, 28% of users expressed interest in participating in hot topics and interactive activities. Every day, Tik Tok advocates challenging topics that are raised officially or by individuals. It is easier for users to get recommendations by shooting short videos related to challenging topics. This feature allows Tik Tok to closely follow hot spots and stimulate users' liveliness and creativity.

"Magic Rule Maker" - Platform Algorithm

Tik Tok delivers content to consumers and provides them with efficient information matching. In the early days, the Tik Tok team has spared no effort and energy to dig out the web celebrities. By relying on its own web celebrities to produce content within the framework of the platform, Tik Tok firmly controlled the adjustability and quality of the content.

In the second half of 2017, with the explosive growth in the number of content producers and users, Tik Tok began to reduce its manual operations and strengthen its algorithms. Tik Tok’s recommendation algorithm is also the logic of “macro-control”: traffic will lead to popular contents, while the contents that are not good or do not match the platform’s styles will lose the chance of being seen by more people.

Qianmin Zhai, a registered user of Tik Tok, was born in 1992 and studied New Media and Animation at the Renmin University of China (a leading research university in Beijing). He painted with coloured pencils for seven years. The videos he uploaded on Tik Tok revolved around his coloured pencil drawings and changed his life in just two months. Previously, he had to draw about 100 pictures per month to make a living. Today, the monthly order amount exceeds RMB 100,000. More and more people know him through Tik Tok and join his online painting classes. Out of curiosity, he began to study the algorithms of the Tik Tok platform and this is his verdict: "Based on factors such as likes, comments and forwarding, the official platform offers you a traffic pool. Once a video is sent out, it will be seen by everybody. If it remains popular, it will continue to be delivered to users. It's the reason you can often see the videos created a few months ago in Tik Tok. It isn't like Weibo's real-time posts and WeChat official account's daily hot topics. Tik Tok's algorithms are fair to ordinary users."

Unlike official WeChat accounts, the rank of Tik Tok web celebrities is still unclear due to the number of fans. Tik Tok users are accustomed to reading recommendation pages, which means that the Tik Tok eco is still under the control of the Tik Tok platform algorithms.

How does a 15 Second Video Create Value?

Would you rely on two 15s videos to open hundreds of stores offline? This is a true story of a Tik Tok App user.

In January this year, Tik Tok user “AnswerTea Qiu Han” uploaded her first video. The protagonist of the video was a cup of drama milk tea that knows “divination”. No matter what problems you have, the answer is displayed on the sticker on top of the lid. This Tik Tok video harvested more than 400,000 playbacks. The next day, the video playback increased to 8.83 million and was praised 240,000 times. Qiu Han and her partner, both of whom had no offline business at the time, quickly decided to open a shop. On January 13th, the first Answer Tea shop was opened in Zhengzhou, which received 8,000 calls in one day. Today Answer Tea has 249 franchise stores.

The huge traffic suction and conversion capacity interests many famous companies such as Alipay, Xiaomi, Airbnb, Mafengwo, IKEA and Pizza Hut which successively joined Tik Tok.

In September 2017, Tik Tok began marketing. At present, there are three main types of commercial resources: ad placement resources, interactive challenging games, and implanted collaboration with web celebrities. Resources are presented fully accessible on the open screen, discovery page, search page and station messages. Airbnb, Chevrolet, and Harbin Beer were the first to test full-page advertising. Tik Tok increased Airbnb brand awareness and participation by more than 200% and brand preference increased by 89.2%. It is a great example of Tik Tok's ability to improve brand awareness. In addition, the collaborating web celebrities are also involved in brand marketing through various clever ways such as video patches, title transmissions, image endorsements, interactive stickers, and launching challenges.

Tik Tok offers merchants good value for money. An example: An e-commerce company places an information-flow advertisement for RMB 1 on Tik Tok. The reward will be about RMB 30 sales, a very satisfactory ratio. But more important, sales are exploding.

The explosive growth on Tik Tok over the past six months has begun to ease, and the crazy bonus period has narrowed to a normal rising status. With nearly 150 million daily active users, what will be the next goal of Tik Tok?

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