With 4 out of 5 Americans sheltered in home, TikTok is thriving. Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, social media revolved around over-filtered, often photoshopped images that were taken in remarkable destinations around the world that many only dream of. Our "new normal" plays into TikTok's culture perfectly. Open the app and you'll see teens, young adults, and old adults pulling pranks, lip syncing their favorite songs, or shamelessly conducting choreographed dances that include all generations of their families. TikTok is fun. Contrary to Instagram, you'll often find TikTok videos showing content creators in the comforts of their own home wearing sweatpants and sweatshirts. The apps amateur-like content is embraced throughout its culture. TikTok is less...fake.
As content, usage, and users increase on the platform, marketers are already chomping at the bit for advertising opportunities. Many TikTok influencers have signed or are in communication with talent agencies to represent them. The platform has rolled out an ad platform, but with elementary targeting and reporting capabilities. Many questions will soon emerge as to how TikTok can play a role in multifamily marketing campaigns. The answer is that it's too soon to tell. Much like when SnapChat first rolled out their ad platform a few years ago, TikTok's ad capabilities are not as robust as they need to be to track performance and monitor real value. That being said, there is an abundance of opportunity and other ad platforms are starting to smell blood in the water. Enter YouTube. It is rumored by that the video streaming platform is working on creating a TikTok like feature to be called "Shorts," which will live within the YouTube mobile app.
We've seen many copy cats in the tech and social media space over the past decade- Instagram mirroring SnapChat Stores as one example. While some have been more successful at recreating successful features of other apps and bringing them to their own than others, the advantage that YouTube has is twofold: 1. YouTube already has a tremendous audience- estimated 2 billion active monthly users and 2. Targeting- Google knows how to get in front of the audiences that advertisers are looking to go after. (Think Google Ads, Google Display, Gmail Ads, YouTube Ads, Shopping, etc.) While YouTube will likely be cautious in how they introduce ads to "Shorts," the end result is inevitable for them to bring ad targeting capabilities to this new feature. Only time will tell, but it does bring into question whether TikTok will be able to stay ahead of the game with Google/YouTube nipping at its heels.