If you’re reading this, I’m going to guess that you’re familiar with the age of Instagram celebrities. The likes of @hudabeauty, @chiaraferragni, and @kayla_itsines have likely popped up in your explore page, or perhaps you follow them yourself.
But have you heard of Tik Tok celebrities? Have you even heard of Tik Tok, itself? A few months ago, I hadn’t. It wasn’t until I started reading about this era of teens who record 15-second videos of themselves for their followers and have amassed a following not unlike some of the biggest influencers that I’ve seen, that I started to dive into the platform and think about the future of social media.
When you think of social media platforms, you think of the big players. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest, YouTube, and even Reddit. But did you know Tik Tok has more monthly active users that Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest, and Reddit?
And this platform isn’t the only new player in the social media market. Let’s take a look at a few in depth.
Image Source: TikTok
The app launched in 2016 as ‘Douyin’ in the Chinese market and was branded as Tik Tok internationally. In 2017 the parent company behind the app, ByteDance, purchased Musical.ly, later merging the platform into Tik Tok. Tik Tok allows users to create short videos set to music. When Vine shut down, its loyal fanbase was left trying to fill the void. Tik Tok does exactly this.
In 2018, Tik Tok hit its stride, surpassing literally every other social media platform as the most downloaded free application from the App Store and Google Play.
Fast forward to 2019, and it’s just getting bigger. Now, publishers and networks such as Hearst and NBCUniversal are partnering with the platform to create short-form video content.
If you’re looking to target a younger market, this is the platform for you to consider.
Source: Business Of Apps, 2019
Image Source: The Next Web
Remember the good old days before the Facebook and Instagram algorithms began to limit who would see your posts? Vero is the social media platform trying to appeal to those of us who are a little nostalgic for engagement.
Vero is essentially an “authentic” Instagram, where users can share photos and videos with their followers and actually have this content be seen. No ads, no algorithm. Just pure content.
The platform launched in 2015, but saw a spike in growth last year when Instagram’s algorithm changed. Content creators were looking for a new way to reach their audience without having to pay for boosted posts, and Vero provided them with this.
The difference between Instagram and Vero, aside from the obvious, is the user functionality of the app. Creators can divide their content into four sections in terms of who sees it: close friend, friend, acquaintance, and follower. Vero also boasts a feature called ‘Collections’, where, as Mark Whitehurst from Marketo explains, “You can divide your posts into photos/videos, links, music, movies/tv, books, and places.”
For brands, it’s not going to be a money maker. But it can be a discovery tool for influencers and content creators that could work for your products.
Source: Marketo, 2019
Image Source: GeekWire
There’s the old adage about video games being terrible influences for our children. Well, one platform has taken this and essentially flipped it on its head over the last few years. Twitch, now owned by Amazon, is a streaming service for digital content. It launched in 2011 and was focused on video games, where users could log in and literally watch video games being played. Now, it has expanded into talk shows, music, and more. With over two million monthly active streamers, it’s definitely a smaller platform, but it shouldn’t be underestimated.
Twitch Streamers can earn just as much money as your Instagram influencer or YouTuber, and in a variety of ways. Through paid subscriptions, micro-donations called Bits, sponsorships, and affiliate sales, there’s definitely an opportunity to make money if you build up a following.
For marketers, Twitch offers an interesting point of difference. Twitch Partners (essentially verified users) can not only stream ads during their videos, they can also run commercials every eight minutes during a broadcast. Aside from this, influencer sponsorships can feel more authentic as users watch a livestream of a Twitch Streamer’s every reaction around the brand they are promoting. Users can comment in real time, and brand community managers can comment back, furthering the conversation.
Check out this example from CMSWire below:
“Duracell supercharged their campaign with eight influencers taking part in a five-hour, multi-camera live broadcast which streamed on all of the influencer’s Twitch accounts. The broadcast included 25 different challenges powered by one single charge of Duracell’s new batteries.
By leveraging all eight influencers, Duracell accrued 187k views from 150k unique viewers with 355k minutes watched and 4.8k chat interactions.”
If you ask me, Twitch is definitely one to watch. No pun intended.