YouTube Shorts Testing In-App Shopping, Affiliate Marketing

Google is stepping up in-app shopping, adding it to YouTube Shorts. “Doom scrolling is about to become doom shopping,” heralds the official blog of Nasdaq, where Google parent Alphabet trades. Now those parsing the YouTube feed of videos 60-seconds or less will have the option to purchase items instantly rather than through redirection to a third-party site. The move comes as Google and others saw digital ad revenue contract this year as a result of economic headwinds and increased competition — notably from TikTok, which is tracking to double its advertising income in 2022. Continue reading YouTube Shorts Testing In-App Shopping, Affiliate Marketing

After Doubling Ad Revenue, TikTok Turns to In-App Shopping

TikTok is closing in on its downward revised 2022 ad revenue target of $10 billion, according to research firm Insider Intelligence. The ByteDance company had initially projected $12 billion but adjusted the forecast due to a digital advertising downturn that’s affected everyone from Alphabet to Meta Platforms. Despite the hedge, TikTok’s ad haul this year will nearly double that of 2021, and is expected to surpass the performance of Twitter and Snap. However, it still trails advertising on Meta’s Facebook and Instagram, which generated more than $84 billion in the first nine months of 2022 (essentially flat). Continue reading After Doubling Ad Revenue, TikTok Turns to In-App Shopping

TikTok’s New Toolkit Adds Photo Carousel, Allows More Text

TikTok is debuting new editing tools and one of them, Photo Mode, is drawing comparisons to Meta’s popular Instagram app. “For when you’d prefer to express yourself in formats other than video, we released Photo Mode, a new carousel format available on mobile for photo content that’s ideal for sharing high quality images on TikTok,” the company writes. The launch occurs just as Instagram has begun shifting its emphasis to video, to the consternation of many users, disapproval TikTok may have noticed as it seeks to pick up market share. Continue reading TikTok’s New Toolkit Adds Photo Carousel, Allows More Text

TikTok May Team Up with TalkShopLive for a Holiday Launch

TikTok is said to be partnering with Los Angeles-based TalkShopLive to handle its live shopping initiative in North America after an in-house UK effort produced lackluster results. Due to hit the U.S. in time for the holiday season, TikTok Shop will be built on technology and support from TalkShopLive as it positions live-stream shopping hosted by influencers, brands and retailers selling products on the short-form video platform. Launched last year, TikTok Shop UK was the ByteDance company’s first such effort outside of Asia, where it is available in countries including Vietnam, Singapore and the Philippines. Continue reading TikTok May Team Up with TalkShopLive for a Holiday Launch

Tencent Revenue Drops 3 Percent in First Decline Since 2004

Tencent’s nearly two-decade growth trajectory came to a halt Wednesday with a 3 percent revenue drop over the same period in 2021. The contraction marked the Chinese video game and social media giant’s first quarterly revenue decline since going public in 2004. Tencent’s April-June revenue fell by about $20 billion, the result of China’s slowing economy and sagging digital advertising revenue, as well as tighter government video game regulations and diminished consumer user spending. Prior to Q4 2021, Tencent had consistently posted double-digit — and sometimes triple-digit — growth since its IPO. Continue reading Tencent Revenue Drops 3 Percent in First Decline Since 2004

Gen Z Turning to TikTok and Instagram for Search and News

TikTok is at the center of yet another attention-grabbing trend: Gen Z has begun using it as a search engine, edging out Google. TikTok says a third of its billion or so global users are Gen Z, and these 10-to-25-year-olds are now using the short-form video platform for more than just entertainment and are increasingly turning to it as a source of information. Meta Platforms’ Instagram is also making a strong showing among information seekers in Gen Z — an important demographic among advertisers, as they are still forming brand loyalties and shopping habits. Continue reading Gen Z Turning to TikTok and Instagram for Search and News

Instagram Targets a Pro Broadcast Look with ‘Live Producer’

Meta Platforms is testing a new tool called Instagram Live Producer, designed to help creators achieve a more professional look from their desktops using streaming software, with initial support for Streamlabs, OBS Studio and StreamYard. The company says this new integration “opens up production features outside the traditional phone camera, including additional cameras, external microphones and graphics,” and is currently only available to “a small group of partners.” Previously, creators could only broadcast live video on Instagram Live from smartphones. Instagram Live Producer enables functionality more like Twitch or YouTube. Continue reading Instagram Targets a Pro Broadcast Look with ‘Live Producer’

YouTube Gains on TikTok as Top Choice for Short-Form Vid

YouTube is stepping up to fill what it perceives as a short-form video void in India, with a population of one billion, which is facing a ban on Bytedance’s popular video app TikTok. One New York-based creator says 80 percent of his views from a recent viral video short came from India, and YouTube, a division of Alphabet’s Google, is parlaying such information to take on short-form video phenom TikTok globally as video clips become the new battlefield for social media dominance. “There is a long game here,” said Todd Sherman, YouTube Shorts director of product management. “I think short-form video is here to stay.” Continue reading YouTube Gains on TikTok as Top Choice for Short-Form Vid

TikTok Halts Russia Live Streams, Battles War Disinformation

Young people who made TikTok a top destination for dance-craze videos and makeup tutorials are now making it a news destination as they seek information about the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but now it’s revealed that some users are doctoring video game images of tanks rolling in and presenting it as footage from the war. Since the conflict erupted, hundreds of thousands of videos about the ongoing saga have been uploaded to TikTok. The war has put the social video platform in the uncharacteristic role of news moderator for material that is often unverified. Continue reading TikTok Halts Russia Live Streams, Battles War Disinformation

TikTok Fights Attention Deficit, Chases Ads with Longer Vids

Having ridden the short-form video wave to popularity, TikTok now faces a quandary: advertisers want longer-form content in which to place their messaging, while users say they don’t even have sufficient attention span for minute-long videos. Last year, a TikTok survey indicated 50 percent of its users find clips of more than a minute stressful, and about a third of them zip through 60-second clips at double-speed. “It’s not because I don’t have time, but because I can’t concentrate,” one twentysomething user reportedly explained in a survey response. Despite that feedback, TikTok began experimenting through the second half of 2021 with videos of five minutes and 10 minutes. Continue reading TikTok Fights Attention Deficit, Chases Ads with Longer Vids

CES: Atmosphere Brings TikTok Mobile Video to New Venues

Atmosphere — a startup that curates streamed video content for commercial venues including Westin Hotels & Resorts, Taco Bell and Texas Roadhouse restaurants, as well as gyms, spas, airports and other places people congregate — has entered into a deal with TikTok to offer clients a channel programmed with the popular app’s short-form clips. The offering will be distinct from TikTok TV, launched in November as the mobile app’s first dedicated foray onto television screens and now available via Amazon Fire TV, LG and Samsung smart TVs, Google TV and other Android TV devices. Continue reading CES: Atmosphere Brings TikTok Mobile Video to New Venues

Mobile Apps Trigger $133 Billion in 2021 Consumer Spending

Global consumer in-app spending is predicted to reach $133 billion in 2021, up nearly 20 percent from the prior year, according to market analytics firm Sensor Tower. Mobile games account for 64 percent ($89.6 billion) of the projected spend. While game revenue continues to grow, share of overall spending will by the end of 2021 have declined by 6.7 percent from 2020, due to “the persistent growth of non-game categories such as entertainment, which received a large boost from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.” TikTok is 2021’s most-downloaded app, according to the study. Continue reading Mobile Apps Trigger $133 Billion in 2021 Consumer Spending

TikTok Owner ByteDance Aspires to Become a Global Leader

TikTok parent ByteDance has announced the establishment of six new divisions to monitor the worldwide dissemination of its short-form video apps. The units include online learning; collaboration tool Lark, (the ByteDance version of Slack); game development arm Nuverse; and B2B division BytePlus, selling white-label versions of  proprietary algorithms to enterprise customers. ByteDance also operates Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok. The change from a flat hierarchy and haphazard business approach is prompting speculation that ByteDance aspires to be known for much more than video sharing. Continue reading TikTok Owner ByteDance Aspires to Become a Global Leader

TikTok Eclipses Facebook as Most Downloaded App Globally

A 2020 survey of downloads around the world revealed that TikTok tops the list of social media providers for the first time since the survey was initiated in 2018. TikTok parent company ByteDance debuted the international version of the app in 2017, which has since outdistanced Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger, all of which fill the other four spots in the top five apps. In 2020, former president Donald Trump called on TikTok to be forced to sell off its U.S. operations, citing security concerns. Continue reading TikTok Eclipses Facebook as Most Downloaded App Globally

ByteDance Pauses its IPO After Meeting with Chinese Officials

Beijing-based ByteDance, parent company of social video app TikTok, which was valued at $180 billion in December, indefinitely put plans on hold for a public offering. The company had been considering an IPO in the United States or Hong Kong but its founder and CEO Zhang Yiming changed his mind after meeting with China’s cyberspace and security regulators who reportedly told him to focus on data-security risks and other issues. Another reason for holding off is that the company did not have a chief financial officer at the time. Continue reading ByteDance Pauses its IPO After Meeting with Chinese Officials