Company presentation: How does TikTok use data?
Every Saturday we present you a company and its way of using data. Today, a company created not so long ago and which has made a meteoric rise, if you have read the title of the article you will have understood: we are going to talk about TikTok.
Presentation of TikTok
TikTok is a recent company. It was founded in 2016 and it is a social network of scale as big as others born 5 years earlier (Snapchat) or even 10 years earlier (Twitter). It's a video content platform where the idea for users is to spontaneously post content. Historically, a lot of content is video clips with music. Its logo evokes a musical note.
The videos are in short formats and usually last between 3 and 60 seconds.
Use of data at TikTok
On the user side
Among users, TikTok aims to propose the most relevant content possible. The application will therefore look at users' interactions: time spent on the video, likes, number of views and many other elements to propose the most relevant content possible. The language, the country and the type of device are also data that will count for example.
The algorithm is able to understand in a few videos what your tastes are and to refine its targeting with the most relevance possible. This is one of the reasons for its success. The algorithm allowing to push the content is the strength of TikTok. Moreover, the system of infinite stories by seeing only one makes it "addictive". Will the following content interest us? One more and I'll stop! And that's how we spend another 30 minutes on the network, discovering the next content that will deeply entertain or move us. Keeping users on the platform is the key point for TikTok and for any platform. That's why we're going to use data, which has a central role: to use it to make users want to stay on their platform.
On the content creator side
On the other hand, a content creator can create a video and then choose a soundtrack, video speed, and other effects that facilitate content creation. This content is meant to be spontaneous and that's what users like. These facilities allow content creators to have an inventiveness that does not exist on the networks. The role of data and especially of algorithms here is to be able to create effects on the video to edit it easily for the greatest number of people.
Moreover, the fact of having short contents allows to reach a large number of people. This network is known to have a tenfold virality, unmatched by other social networks. Information is transmitted much faster than elsewhere and the number of people reached can be counted in hundreds of millions in a few days.
Captions, audio and hashtags put in by content creators are also information used by the algorithms to propose the most relevant content possible for users.
On this side, there is not necessarily a deep originality compared to other social networks except that the ads will necessarily be, by construction of this social network, videos, pushing some brands to take the step. Advertising is the main way for TikTok to generate revenues. Nevertheless, TikTok offers several types of video ads which allows brands to diversify their way of communicating.
The network has announced that its advertising revenue in 2022 should exceed Twitter and Snapchat combined. Moreover, as the social network is still new, the competition for brands is lower than on other networks and therefore they have an interest in going on it.
To stay trendy, brands have to go on TikTok.