TikTok has just released a new way for its users and businesses to create and connect – TikTok Now.
TikTok first exploded onto our phones in 2016, with major success first occurring in Europe in 2018. It’s now hard to imagine a world, and marketing landscape, where TikTok isn’t a part of it. From #SoundEffectChallenges to C-lister TikTok celebrity boxing matches, it’s clear that it’s here to stay.
TikTok is the most downloaded entertainment app on the Apple Store (bar a very short dethroning while people downloaded ITV’s I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here! app to make Matt Hancock eat camel testicles) and ranks number three on Google Play stores.
It’s become a powerful tool in the modern video game marketers’ toolbox, with huge potential in creating awareness and driving impressions. Take the case of Blight: Survival, Haenir Studios’ up-and-coming mediaeval co-operative, action-horror roguelite set in an alternate 14th century.
The small studio used TikTok to showcase its game with huge success. After a whopping 2M views on TikTok, Haenir has seen its game rocket up the Steam wishlists for unreleased games from #166 all the way up to #48 (and rising) in part thanks to the exposure gained on the platform.
So what’s next for TikTok?
So it’s effective and helps to market games. What’s next for the platform?
Enter TikTok Now. The new feature was first trialed and unveiled in the US back in September as a spiritual competitor to new kid-on-the-block and social media emerging star, BeReal.
Hold on a minute, what is BeReal?
The French social media app was launched in 2020 with little success until a recent explosion in mid-2022. BeReal has a very simple premise: every day at a different time, the user is notified and invited simultaneously to capture and share a photo in two minutes.
The premise of the app is to provide an antidote to the polished, perfected content shared on platforms such as Instagram. BeReal only allows you to take one unedited photo everyday, wherever you are, whatever you are doing, without warning, whether that be at work, in the supermarket or a sweaty gym class. The resulting content is of course impromptu and often hilarious, but also reveals a snippet of someone’s reality which curated, filtered content cannot capture.
What is TikTok Now?
After watching the app soar to success, TikTok evidently wanted a slice of the action and developed their own casual user-generated content feature, TikTok Now. The new feature will prompt you to capture what you’re doing in the moment using your device’s front and back camera, either as a picture or a 10-second video – which is where it differs from BeReal
So, why should businesses care?
While in the spirit of authenticity, BeReal does not yet allow direct marketing, though there is every likelihood that opportunities for brand involvement are somewhere on the horizon. And, at the very least, features such as BeReal and TikTok Now are helping to unveil the true power that user generated content has in holding its own in today’s busy environment.
User Generated Content
In the same way that TikTok Now is able to pull back the curtain on a person’s glossy exterior, it could be used to show snippets of the behind-the-scenes of your talented team in meetings and shoots, for example.
Research has shown time and time again that consumers connect with people, not companies. Personifying your brand enables customers to see it as more than just a business. Highlighting the faces behind the business will help communicate its personality and authenticity, and build customer loyalty – especially within Gen Z communities.
Or consider it as another weapon in your community engagement strategy, helping to generate buzz around specific trends such as encouraging customers to share BeReals of them playing video games at stupid times at night, for example.
Of course, as with all new social media features, you should never just assume that you can jump on the bandwagon – it needs to fit with your brand. If your brand, product, or service relies heavily on touch-ups or flashy visuals, these platforms may not be a natural fit.
So, what does the future hold?
As with all new social media features, only time will tell how long TikTok Now will be able to hold our attention for. But the most important takeaway for your brand is what the rise in these user-driven platforms signals – that authenticity rules the roost.
One thing is for sure – we wait with eager anticipation to see how the new TikTok Now feature will be used by businesses and the wider community, and if it will dethrone BeReal in the casual UGC space.
If you need any support in using TikTok in your marketing strategy, or even just fancy a chat about marketing and video games, then Project N can help you. Get in touch here!