TikTok Newsletter 58

Climate Anxiety, machine learning and a walk in the park


This is Understanding TikTok – your weekly TikTok update. My name is Marcus. And i am happy to announce my very first Southern African 🌍 TikTok workshop with journalism colleagues in Zimbabwe, Namibia and Malawi for DW Akademie next week!  

By the way more than 1 billion 📈 people around the world log on to TikTok every month (USA Today).

This week we talk about:

🦭Climate Change
💸 Let's get down, let's get down to business
🎁 Stuff

🦭Climate Change

I am currently looking for good examples of climate coverage on TikTok. Have you seen any? What i saw this week was an article in the Journal of Community Health on #Climate Change on TikTok: A Content Analysis of Videos. A very short paper studying 100 English-language videos related to climate change.

The findings: Only eight of 100 videos included information from a reputable source. TikTok is an important tool for understanding popular opinion and the presence of credible professionals is essential on the platform to increase the chances that messaging is as comprehensive as time allows, while also being scientifically sound.

Obviously a huge chance for traditional news outlets to come in here. But how to report along the needs of the audience and how to balance the look, the feel and the content? An open question for further investigation. Some first thoughts:

Collectives like EcoTok are a pretty cool idea but how do you keep the momentum? Many climate TikToks are pretty boring visually. Isabelle Boemeke does a great job stanning nuclear energy. And @climatediva posing like the CEOs of companies that have polluted the most carbon dioxide is a pretty clever idea to educate and get the ball rolling.

Then you have people like Hashem Al-Ghaili who is a science communicator with a background in molecular biotechnology. He’s been making videos about science since 2009, first on Facebook, then on YouTube, and now on TikTok. (Wired) And then you have videos that capture a vibe (@carissaandclimate) or turn journalistic articles into TikTok videos (@sophiasmithgaler). Will investigate further and report back to you.

💸 Let's get down, let's get down to business

TikTok has an advertising problem. On Tuesday, the company rolled out a new plan to help deal with it, writes the New York Times: “TikTok officially opened itself to paid ads more than a year ago, but many companies have remained wary of it. TikTok is the least trusted major social media platform.”

That is why TikTok held its first ever TikTok World business showcase event, where it shared a range of new tools and options designed to help brands make the most of its platform (Social Media Today). There was a heap of new features announced.

Among them is an updated version of TikTok’s Creator Marketplace, including more performance insight.  Brands can now list their campaigns for interested creators to self-apply. And then there is a new Creative Center, which is designed to help advertisers understand what's working on the platform, in real-time.

The most interesting thing for me is a new creation tool called Dynamic Scene. The tool will essentially create TikTok clips for you, based on your existing assets, which you can then test in the app, and promote the best performers. Using machine learning to break your videos into multiple scenes.

These scenes are then re-assembled into hundreds of variations based on audience preferences. It can add elements such as music and transition effects, keeping the creative fresh and extending its lifespan.

This sounds rather wild. Needless to say that i miss the time when random teenagers set up accounts impersonating multi-billion dollar companies rejecting any kind of mainstream trends in favor of surreal humor and alternative aesthetics with heavy Dadaist influence. That was 15 months ago. 💀

🎁 Stuff

AD has a good starting point for your voyage into 🪑 DesignTok: Here’s Where to Find the Best Interior Design Content on TikTok. I like the minimal approach over at @carefullypicked 

Do you like treadmills? By chance i saw TikTok Tuesday – a new weekly series that looks at the latest health trends 🚙 playing on TikTok.

Fake people. 👯 No, not Tom Cruise. Fake people are actually real but a text overlay is adding another identity layer. Sounds weird? “I think it's really fun, like it's just a goofy light-hearted thing”

Thailand: TCU & TikTok launch virtual game show. ​​The Game Night will present a fun and exciting experience with the presence of TikTok stars playing dice rolling. Yeah, why not. By any chance: Do you have a favorite show 🎲 on TikTok. Please let me know

Google executives have been quietly negotiating with their counterparts at the video apps’ parent companies, ByteDance for TikTok and Facebook for Instagram, to get the data it needs to index and rank videos 🔎 (The Information)

Last week we were talking about 🤡 Memetic Branding. It is all over now. Thanks Amason. Or maybe it is not? Ad Age is covering the story now. So it is all about timing and point of view it seems.

And now. Let’s go for a walk. And then run until your heart bursts. Ciao.