Here’s some TikTok news that doesn’t have to do with ByteDance being forced to sell the app’s US operations.
Following in the footsteps of its larger platform siblings, TikTok launched a marketing partner program on Thursday that aims to connect advertisers with tech companies that have expertise in running and measuring campaigns on TikTok.
Launching a partner program is a milestone for any platform looking to attract advertising dollars, and also a sign of maturation.
“With the launch of TikTok For Business, we’re building new opportunities for marketers to be creative storytellers and meaningfully engage with the TikTok community,” Melissa Yang, TikTok’s head of ecosystem partners, said in a blog post.
The program, which sits under TikTok for Business, a business hub for all of TikTok’s marketing solutions that debuted at the NewFronts in June, includes 19 companies across four categories: campaign management, creative development, branded effects and measurement.
In the campaign management bucket are companies that can help with campaign creation, optimization and measurement: Bidalgo, Bidshake, Sprinklr, Winclap, MakeMeReach. TikTok’s measurement partner is Kantar. And on the creative development side are QuickFrame, Shuttlerock, VidMob, Vidsy and Cohley.
Branded effects is the largest category, which makes sense. TikTok is starting to invest a lot more in augmented reality in a bid to rival Snapchat. Partners include Bare Tree Media, Byte, Happy Finish, IgniteXR, Popular Studio, Subvrsive, Tommy and Unit9.
“TikTok users value creativity and authenticity in the content shared across the platform," said Steph Garofoli, senior director of partnerships at VidMob. "This presents a massive opportunity for marketers."
For the last number of months, TikTok has been going full tilt to expand its ad offerings for marketers, particularly small and midsize businesses, looking to reach a Gen Z audience.
In early July, TikTok made its self-serve ad platform globally available after a beta period with a small group of customers last year. The platform lets advertisers flexibly adjust their spending, target users by demographic, device type and other basic parameters and to access TikTok’s proprietary ad formats, including branded effects.
But despite TikTok’s popularity with young users – and thereby its attractiveness to advertisers – there’s a lot of uncertainty hanging over its head. And that’s giving some advertisers pause.
Restaurant chain The Halal Guys, for example, was until very recently thinking about advertising on TikTok, according to The Information. But it’s decided to hold back given the tumult surrounding TikTok’s ownership.