This week in social media news, we’re looking at the launch of TikTok World, Kanye West’s new social platform purchase aspirations as well as a new brand activation in Roblox from Invisalign.
Welcome To TikTok World
TikTok launched TikTok World, its global product summit, on October 13th by presenting a slew of user engagement features and ad performance monitoring tools designed to make the platform more appealing and user-friendly to brand marketers.
TikTok announced a new performance monitoring tool called ‘Focused View’, which will charge advertisers based on user attention and engagement rates. Advertisers only pay when users interact with an ad or watch an ad for six seconds. This may help advertisers get better insights into their ad spend and craft their campaigns around unique user behaviors (like rapid swiping past ads) that can make it harder to judge true engagement. The company also added new customization capabilities to its lead generation forms, a ‘Showtimes’ ad unit for movies that allows users to see showtimes and buy tickets in-stream, and new search options its creator marketplace that may help brands find the right influencer more easily.
Why It Matters:
Boasting more than 1 billion monthly users, with an average 80 minutes per day of viewing by the average American viewer, TikTok earned more ad revenue than Twitter and Snapchat combined in 2022. But the platform has recently experienced controversy over the possible influence of its ownership by China-based ByteDance and even a high-profile misfire—such as the ultimately reversed effort to expand TikTok Shop, the company’s live e-commerce feature in July after lackluster customer engagement. Many brand marketers see an immense opportunity in TikTok, but many remain hesitant: About half of the world’s biggest brands have no TikTok presence. TikTok may hope to change that by enhancing its ad tech tools.
Kanye West Wants To Purchase Parler
After Kanye West was pilloried for recent anti-semitic comments and a denial that George Floyd was murdered and banned from Twitter and Instagram, the performer announced that he is following Elon Musk and intends on purchasing a major social media platform.
Parler, which billed itself as a home for social conservatives, was briefly shut down by Amazon Web Services after the Jan. 6 attack on the capital for doing too little to monitor and report messages and posts promoting violence. The company, once valued at $1 billion, has struggled to regain followers after its shut down by Amazon web services.
Why It Matters:
Parler’s downloads increased ten-fold in the aftermath of January 6th before the website was shut down. Whether those users were simply joining out of curiosity or seeking like minds, a divided country appears to be developing an equally divided social media universe. The increased attention social media companies are devoting to influencers making inflammatory statements post-Jan. 6 means that more unpredictable influencers may be creating their own echo chambers in the near future.
Smart Shopping App Karma Offers Single Checkout, Multi-Brand Shopping
Smart shopping app Karma has launched a single-swipe checkout option for shoppers. Once consumers enter their payment details, they can shop at multiple stores and websites and choose their payment options, ranging from credit and debit to installment plans.
Pay With Karma allows consumers to pay the lowest price and choose from a range of payment methods without paying separately at each store.
Why it Matters:
Simplified payment options make it easier for brands to lead consumers from engaging with deals-focused content to a purchase. This also means that price-conscious consumers will have more options to comparison shop, making the “other” motivations for conversion, like customer service and brand affinity, important components of a successful campaign.
Social Campaign Spotlight: Invisalign In Roblox’s LiveTopia
This August, Invisalign created an “interactive dentist office” in Roblox’s Livetopia.
The campaign, created by Publicis Groupe, Starcom and IF7, makes a dentist’s office an explorable open world with examination rooms and two mini-games. The games allow users to play through the challenges of traditional braces and explore the benefits of the Invisalign product by chewing gum, eating popcorn and corn on the cob, and then joining a football game. Since its launch, 2.1 million users have interacted with the “Invisalign Confidence” experience.
Why it Matters:
Brands are becoming more creative in the way they leverage the unique features of virtual space. Instead of simply relying on banner-like branded content, the most successful campaigns are making metaverse experiences that feel native to their environment because they enhance or add features to the experience consumers want.