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Andy's Round-Up: India bans TikTok and Instagram launches 'Reels'

Blog Post Author – Andy
30th June 2020

TikTok launches TikTok For Business

🤔 What happened?

TikTok is announcing to advertisers that it’s open for business. The company is officially introducing a new brand and platform called “TikTok For Business” that will serve as the home for all its current and future marketing solutions for brands.

💡 My take

TikTok has launched 'TikTok For Business', a new advertising suite of products and the new advertising platform for TikTok. Most of the advertising products will be very familiar to you as they haven't evolved; they are now just simply packaged under 'TikTok For Business'.

However, there are two new things that have appeared. One is the use of augmented reality, so TikTok is now heading into similar territory as Snapchat in their approach to how they use AR in advertising-led content. TikTok is now on this path too.

Secondly, TikTok is providing functionality to allow brands to link with creators that have influence on the platform to better manage the relationship between brands and influencers so it seems that a lot more maturity is coming to how businesses can use and leverage TikTok so it will be interesting to see what happens here.

India bans TikTok and 59 other Chinese-owned apps

🤔 What happened?

Facing rising domestic pressure, the Indian government ordered 59 Chinese-owned apps to be blocked, including TikTok, WeChat, and Clash of Kings.

💡 My take

In complete polar opposite to our previous story, our second news story is that India have taken the decision to ban 59 Chinese-owned apps. One of them is TikTok and 200 million active TikTok users that go with it.

The real question is, is this just going to be India making this move, all will this be replicated by other countries that have similar privacy concerns with TikTok (the US being one of them)? This would completely transform TikTok as a business so I'm very interested to see what happens here. Whilst the growth of TikTok is indisputable - $500 million in revenue they're at now - we can see that the advertising product is maturing, which is only going to drive more revenue and more growth, and their foundation are build on slightly wobbly territory. Think about your use of TikTok really wisely before investing too much time in it - that's my advice for the moment.

Youtube introduces BrandConnect

🤔 What happened?

YouTube has announced it’s evolving its FameBit platform to YouTube BrandConnect, making it easier for creators and brands can collaborate.

💡 My take

Now let's move onto the third news story of today which is all around Youtube. Youtube has rebranded a previous feature but they've also put more functionality into it and called it 'BrandConnect' which ultimately, as the name suggests, is their way of connecting influencer creators with brands (much as we were just discussing with TikTok).

A few social platforms have been making similar moves lately (Facebook announced something similar a few weeks back) and you can really see the recognition from platforms that influence comes from the individual creator.

Influence isn't going to happen on brand pages or necessarily come from typical advertising. Revenues are going to consistently move towards working in collaboration with influential individuals. The platforms are now becoming aware of that.

Influencer marketing has typically been a bit of a wild west orientated situation so it's really nice to see some structure coming in allowing brands to find and work with the right collaborators and the right influencers for their business.

Instagram launches TikTok clone 'Reels'

🤔 What happened?

Instagram launched a video-music feature called Reels for Stories to rival TikTok in November last year. After appearing in Brazil in late 2019, the Reels feature is expanding to new markets so users in France and Germany can now create 15-second videos in the Instagram app.

💡 My take

The fourth story today is a really interesting one regarding Instagram. Instagram is testing a new app called 'Reels' in four markets. How quickly they've launched this is fairly unbelievable actually, as Reels is their competitor to TikTok. Just a few years ago, Instagram copied Snapchat's Stories format and introduced it into their own product making the format even more popular than it was on Snapchat. Now they're looking to do the same with TikTok and for my money, I'm not a betting man but I would say that Reels is going to become bigger than TikTok. With 2 million active users across the Facebook family, it's hard to argue with that might of users. I predict that we'll be seeing more people shift from TikTok to Instagram Reels when it finally becomes available to everyone which probably will be quite soon on the basis of how quickly it's been developed so far.

Facebook to warn you when sharing articles over 3 months old

🤔 What happened?

Facebook continues its fight against fake news with a new notification warning you when you are about to share old news. The new feature will warn you when sharing an article that is over 3 months old.

💡 My take

Sticking with Facebook; they've got a really small but important update. Facebook is now going to warn you when you are sharing or reading an article that's per 3 months old. It's a great way for them to start cleaning up people's use of the platform and make sure that the information being shared is timely and newsworthy.

Coca-Cola suspends social media advertising

🤔 What happened?

Coca-Cola will suspend advertising on social media globally for at least 30 days, as pressure builds on platforms to crack down on hate speech.

💡 My take

You may have seen that there are a large number of bands boycotting advertising on Facebook. Coca-Cola is the latest one to join alongside BestBuy, Ford, and Starbucks. Coca-Cla has said it's only for the next 30 days they aren't going to be advertising on Facebook so there's a bit of PR going on here (maybe if you're being cynical) but ultimately it's all about Facebook's inability to deal with hate speech on the platform, which they have been absolutely slow to deal with. I'm going to be very interested to see what happens long-term around big brands advertising on Facebook. However, it's not as important as it seems in terms of these for big brands because the majority of Facebook's advertising revenue is driven by smaller businesses.

It's very interesting to see these political shifts that are happening within the world of social media at the moment considering what's happening in India with TikTok, as well as Instagram Reels and companies boycotting Facebook. There's a lot of underlying shifts happening at the moment. While this week hasn't covered many new features, it has gone through a lot of the changes and shifts underpinning the social media marketing industry so it's going to be a fascinating next few months.

Andy does a round-up of social media news every week. Connect with Andy on LinkedIn to get it first.

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