Last week, Chinese social media giant TikTok introduced a new self-serve digital advertising platform, now available globally. The platform provides access to creative, budgeting, and targeting tools for small- and medium-sized businesses. Business accounts will also be available in the future.
As a reminder: TikTok is a short-form video-sharing platform that has been widely embraced by Gen Z and young Millennials. Its user base has grown quickly in the past 16 months.
Here’s what the company’s VP of Global Business Solutions, Blake Chandlee, said in a realease:
“TikTok’s immersive short-form videos give businesses a platform to participate and engage with a community known for its creativity, ingenuity, and joy. As our marketing solutions scale and evolve, we’re continuously building for the future and aiming to meet the growing needs of our partners. We’re excited to continue supporting our community by providing the tools and resources for SMB owners to navigate these challenging times.”
With Facebook facing public criticism over its handling of a range of social issues, TikTok may have chosen the perfect time to enter the global digital advertising market. As we mentioned last week, numerous large companies have joined the “Stop Hate for Profit” Facebook advertising boycott. The bulk of Facebook’s revenue, though, comes from smaller advertisers who can’t afford not to advertise on the platform. SMBs inclined to join the boycott could see TikTok as a viable alternative, and could be further swayed by the company’s offer of $100 million in small business ad credits.
However, TikTok has its own political challenges: China is facing significant global backlash over border clashes with India and harsh new policies in Hong Kong. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently announced that the United States will consider banning TikTok and other Chinese apps in America. Such a move could have a devastating impact on the company’s digital advertising ambitions.