TikTok, the short-form video app owned by ByteDance, is testing shoppable video posts, making it possible for influencers on the platform to place social commerce URLs within their posts. The test was shared by Fabien Bern, owner of a Chinese influencer agency, who posted an example of a shoppable video post via his Twitter account. Bern’s example showed an influencer video that included a URL within the video leading to the influencer’s Amazon product page.

TikTok later confirmed to Adweek that it was testing the feature, but did not disclose details on whether or not it would receive a wider roll-out. Marketing Land has reached out to TikTok for comment.

Why we should care

Social commerce is gaining traction as platforms add new capabilities to support direct-to-consumer and big brands’ e-commerce goals. Platforms are racing to give advertisers tools to make the journey from product discovery to purchase as seamless as possible — Instagram’s in-app check-out feature and Pinterest’s move to expand Shoppable Pins to visual searches are among the recent examples.

TikTok entering the social commerce fray demonstrates the platform is experimenting with ways to appeal to the commercial interests of creators and potential advertisers. With more than 500 million global users, brands are eyeing opportunities to reach its Gen Z audience.

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About The Author

Amy Gesenhues is a senior editor for Third Door Media, covering the latest news and updates for Marketing Land, Search Engine Land and MarTech Today. From 2009 to 2012, she was an award-winning syndicated columnist for a number of daily newspapers from New York to Texas. With more than ten years of marketing management experience, she has contributed to a variety of traditional and online publications, including MarketingProfs, SoftwareCEO, and Sales and Marketing Management Magazine. Read more of Amy’s articles.


TikTok released its first-ever software-development kit (SDK) on Monday, which will allow users to upload video content to the TikTok platform through third-party apps.

Aptly titled the “Share to TikTok” SDK, it’s the first kit TikTok has introduced in its TikTok for Developers program. The SDK includes new tools to help third-party apps and developers integrate with TikTok, allowing users to simply “Share to TikTok” from the editing panel of their favorite apps.

Additionally, TikTok named Adobe Premiere Rush as an initial integration partner, giving users the ability to edit using Adobe’s rich features and share instantly to TikTok. Premiere Rush allows users to capture videos and edit content on any device using a range of tools and effects, such as speed changes, aspect ratio editing, advanced color and audio control, transitions, and more.

Why we should care

The SDK provides developers and third-party apps with the ability to diversify content channels based on the users’ preferences, which could help drive more accurate targeting and reach for brands on the platform which has more than 500 million users.

“By engaging with the TikTok SDK, third-party developers will not only provide a new channel for creators to share their creations, but also expand the reach of their own platform through specified partner hashtags,” the company wrote.

Additionally, the SDK could bring more engagement to the popular video-sharing platform with it’s streamlined, one-click posting experience.

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  • A part of the TikTok for Developers program, this feature aims to expand creative offerings for the TikTok community while enriching and content for users. 
  • With the TikTok SDK, third-party developers can provide a new channel for creators to share their work while expanding the reach of their own platform.

About The Author

Taylor Peterson is Third Door Media’s Deputy Editor, managing industry-leading coverage that informs and inspires marketers. Based in New York, Taylor brings marketing expertise grounded in creative production and agency advertising for global brands. Taylor’s editorial focus blends digital marketing and creative strategy with topics like campaign management, emerging formats, and display advertising.


NEW YORK — TikTok doesn’t report user numbers publicly. Recent reports have pegged its user base at anywhere between 260 to 500 million, but those estimates may be low. “It’s not a billion, but it’s not half that either,” TikTok VP Blake Chandlee said cagily during a talk at Advertising Week in New York Monday. The audience giggled at the lack of clarity, but his comment indicates the video platform is more popular than many realize.

TikTok VP Blake Chandlee speaking with Gary Vaynerchuk of VaynerMedia at Advertising Week 2019and Snapchat, it’s more a platform to watch and engage with content than to connect with friends and family. Vaynerchuk pushed back on that idea, saying text messaging has become the place for friends and family for many consumers, while TikTok is very much a social network in the way younger audiences use it. I can attest to this in my own household: kids watch videos from other creators on TikTok, but they largely create, share and comment among their own friend groups.

Global growth, regionally managed

Chandlee noted TikTok has seen a lot of grown in India and other parts of Asia. TikTok’s global presence is managed by individual teams in their respective markets. And though the platform is owned by Chinese internet firm ByteDance, which bought Musical.ly in 2017 and integrated it into the TikTok app, Chandlee emphasized thatTikTok does not operate in China. “It’s autonomous from the Chinese side of the business. We run it outside of the Chinese market, and we run a very locally-centered business. The U.S. is run by teams in the U.S. The European business is run by teams in Europe.”

Early adopters will gain the attention edge

Vaynerchuk called on the marketers in the audience to think about the attention opportunity on TikTok now rather than getting wrapped up in concerns about what its lifespan will be. Now is the time content and creators can gain huge audiences and engagement really fast. “It’s not super complicated. It went really fast on Vine, too. It went really fast on Instagram when Instagram didn’t have enough creators making for it. This is one big game of supply and demand of content and the attention on the other side,” he said. “This is the one game played over and over again.”

He compared it to brands sitting on the sidelines watching podcast growth because the reporting mechanisms aren’t in place. “I mean, there’s no confusion that there’s an enormous amount of people listening to podcasts. But watching people not buy ads because reporting isn’t in place yet.” He argues even if and when a network like Vine goes away, brands that were on the platfom “take the brand equity” with them.

Mainstream brands are jumping in, experimenting

Chandlee said in the past month or so, brands have flocked to TikTok: “There’s been a real inflection point.” Many mainstream and powerful brands are getting on the platform, Chandlee said, and experimenting. “When I talk to leading brands, I keep trying to say is we want to be different. We want brands to be this first-class citizen in the graph, so that when people see the content, they actually engage with it.” In other words, they can’t try to repurpose what they’re doing on other platforms.

The NFL, the NBA, Nike, Burberry, Samsung, HP, Chipoltle and Walmart are among the brands Chandlee mentioned doing interesting work on TikTok. “At some point this conversation is going to evolve into, Is this doing anything for my business,” said Vaynerchuk. “And the only way to actually make that happen is to be a relevant storyteller …. And that takes strategy, let alone contextual output.”

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