Short-form videos advance TikTok to dominate social media platforms. That has the other social media platforms nervous and starting to panic. The popularity of the short-form video has given TikTok an edge over the other platforms. Interestingly, the short-form video was how YouTube gained wide acceptance in its beginning. A lot of money was spent by corporate clients to create short 3-minute videos. Then, years down the road YouTube started to downplay the short content and reward longer videos. As a content creator, it was a hard message to inform clients they now needed to pay for new long-form videos. Now? The short-form video is back with the massive popularity of TikTok!
Why is TikTok So Popular?
Some suggest it was the worldwide pandemic lockdown and plain old boredom that drove people to try TikTok. The entertaining short-form videos were a hit. From the fun challenges for people to attempt themselves to talented people showing off their stuff, the result captured eyeballs and time away from the other platforms.
In addition to the dedication to the short-form video TikTok did not focus on rewarding the creators of videos like the model from YouTube and Instagram. Instead, TikTok focused on the content (the videos themselves). This was evident when it introduced the algorithmically-selected video clips that are based on a user’s viewing habits. This algorithm gave us the “For You” feed in the app. This took the attention off of star “influencers” popularity and moved to an emphasis on the actual videos.
Instagram Changes Focus
Contrary to this, Instagram relied on the users to “follow’ the videos they liked and then suggested similar content. After TikTok gained some momentum, Instagram started to do the same and moved to negate the importance of the account driven “follows” in favour of showing you their own “suggested content”. The result seemed to backfire for Instagram and the move made the app experience a lot less engaging. The frustration grew when instagram started a robust advertising component in a user’s feed. The result was Instagram became an annoyance for many.
Where do we stand now? A new study released by The Wall Street Journal reveals that Instagram’s engagement is declining especially when it comes to their version of the short-form video called the “Reels”. This also comes on the heels of Facebook pushing hard into the short-form video emphasis with its version of “reels”. The parent company for both platforms, Meta, denies the credibility of the study.
In contrast, a recent announcement by Instagram demonstrates how it is now emphasizing the popularity of short-form videos as it moves to abandon its shopping and eCommerce focus. This will come as tough news for Insta-influencers who rely on sales of their products from the app.
YouTube Responses with “Shorts”
Similarly, the report indicates YouTube Shorts is now trying to stop its user exodus to TikTok by changing its revenue-sharing model. Youtubers now make money if a has 10 million “Shorts” views in 90 days. That sounds like an enormous amount but given the results TikTok has achieved with the short-form video, that number is not unreasonable.
The model of using social media for business advertising is changing and we need to monitor this move. This can’t be seen as the next trend but as the new horizon for business social media marketing.
Most users will tell you they go to different apps for different reasons. TikTok has captured the market who want to see quick entertaining videos. Facebook since its inception, was about connecting with friends and family. Instagram has followed suit in connecting people but it was centred around similar interests such as mutual interest in products or hobbies. This new, more entertainment-aligned paradigm has disrupted Meta’s (Facebook & Instagram) once all-powerful, unmatched social infulence and market advantage that it once had.
TikTok for Business
What’s the takeaway for marketing your business? In a 2020 poll* 74% of TikTok users say were inspired to find out more about a product or brand online. 66% of users agree that TikTok has helped them decide what to buy.
In conclusion, those quick and light-hearted videos are useful for entertaining customers! If TikTok is not part of your social media mix then perhaps it’s time to set up a TikTok Business Account for your business and start posting.
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*TikTok Marketing Science US Holiday Shopping Behavior Custom Research 2020