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How Tik Tok is tapping into Generation Z - and why luxury brands are jumping on board

TikTok

TikTok is a breakthrough social media platform with millions of mostly young users worldwide, who share short videos and funny clips with matching music. 


Lately, its popularity has skyrocketed, with artists like Khloe Kardashian, Ariana Grande and Britney Spears taking on to the platform. The Chinese App reached 1.5 billion downloads late last year and has caught the attention of brands around the world.

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How Tik Tok is tapping into Generation Z - and why luxury brands are jumping on board

How Tik Tok is tapping into Generation Z - and why luxury brands are jumping on board

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/luxury/technology/tik-tok-tapping-generation-z-luxury-brands-jumping-board/

telegraph.co.uk

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Key Ideas

TikTok

TikTok is a breakthrough social media platform with millions of mostly young users worldwide, who share short videos and funny clips with matching music. 


Lately, its popularity has skyrocketed, with artists like Khloe Kardashian, Ariana Grande and Britney Spears taking on to the platform. The Chinese App reached 1.5 billion downloads late last year and has caught the attention of brands around the world.

Gen Z

The appeal of TikTok is mostly among Gen Z, who love music, weird behaviour, humour and fashion. They love the blend of a social media network which is focused on consuming and creating viral content, along with catchy music.

Worth Billions

TikTok, whose Chinese owners are worth billions now, wasn’t the first-of-its-kind app but became a runaway success due to its unique format. Music biggies became early adopters of the TikTok format, using creative techniques to magnetically lure viewers and ensure it goes viral.

Commercial Viability

Now that TikTok is a force to reckon with, many luxury and fashion brands are trying to tap the spending power of youngsters who are hooked to the addictive app. Recently Mac Cosmetics launched an online challenge, encouraging users to transform and showcase their looks using their products. Ralph Lauren and Burberry managed to garner around a billion views for their respective TikTok challenges.

Scouting Talent

TikTok is a huge social media space to scout new fashion and modelling talent, as it provides a glimpse at the personality of the rising star and not just a pretty face. The number of followers and the search buzz the TikTok artist creates can be easily measured.

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There are new applications like Tex-Rex, The Infatuation, or Community which are helping brands penetrate this private space.

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Micro-communities are platforms where people gather around shared interests, beliefs or passions. Some examples are Facebook Pages and Groups, Instagram Stories, Slack and Youtube.

Brands can tap into this by partnering with influencers who have the kind of demographic they are targeting.

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TikTok

TikTok is reportedly 500 million users strong. It’s been a while since a new social app got big enough to make nonusers feel they’re missing out from an experience.

TikTok is an app for...

TikTok "tools"

Video creators have all sorts of tools available.
  • Filters as on Snapchat.
  • The ability to search for sounds to score your video.
  • It provides extensive reasons and prompts.
  • Hashtags play a large role as a functional organizing principle. 
  • It nudges you and makes it easy to come up with material to post.
  • Users are encouraged to engage with other users in two ways: Through "response" videos and through "duets" where a user replicates a video and add themselves alongside.

Fundamentally different

TikTok has stepped over the point between the familiar self-directed feed and experience based on algorithmic observation and inference. When you open the app, you don't see a feed of your friends, but a page called "For You" - It's an algorithmic feed based on videos you've interacted with or just watched.

It's not full of people you know or things you've explicitly told it you want to see. It is constantly learning from you and builds up a model of what you tend to watchIn short, it is like an Instagram centered entirely around its "Explore" tab.

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Instagram grabs your attention

For the most part, people on Instagram seem positive and content. They are earnest and sincere. 

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Instagram subculture

Following a genre on Instagram can present a wealth of ideas. The algorithm drives users toward content similar to what they've seen or liked. However, this can lead and encourage users toward extremities. 

For instance, if you are following fitness gurus or sponsored athletes. Then add some photo-editing to alter the body-image you want to project. At the same time, the algorithm continues to feed you with what you like or want until your feed becomes a mosaic of increasingly extreme exercisers.

A form of manipulation

  • Instagram is in the business of data-collection and media selling. It's estimated value is more than $100bn (£77bn).
  • Third-party indexing tools glean data from what is posted and sell it in the form of brand analytics, as information for governments, security and surveillance firms, and corporations.
  • Images posted to Instagram are used to train its proprietary image-recognition software.
  • Instagram follows your movements across the Internet, and you find hints that it is stalking you. 

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