TikTok and Google Want You to Shop

Go where the money is: shopping. That is what TikTok and Google are doing with their latest updates.


We now have a better idea of what TikTok Shops will look like. You will be able to not only sell your own items, but also earn commissions by promoting other people’s products (i.e., affiliate marketing).


The search engine is testing the addition of more shopping features to its search results. Do you want to buy jeans? According to Google, you might be interested in knowing:

  • What blogs had to say about the best jeans in the market currently
  • What stores people frequent when they want to buy jeans
  • Similar products to the jeans you’re looking for

These are the top three features that Google is currently testing.

Although we don’t know which ones will be available to everyone, one thing is certain: as time goes on, Google and other large platforms will ask their users to shop more.

That’s not such a bad thing if you’re into e-commerce.

How big is TikTok?

TikTok is a lot bigger than you might think. Back in September 2021, TikTok announced that it had 1B monthly active users.

And according to an even more recent CloudFlare report, TikTok was the most popular domain in the world during late 2021 on forward.

To put a bow on this thing, here’s how TikTok ranked in the world’s top app stores in May of last year:

  • Overall app stores (all combined): #1
  • Apple App Store: #1
  • Google Play Store: #1

TikTok remained one of the top-downloaded apps in the world throughout the year.

So, yes, TikTok is massive… But there’s still room to grow.

TikTok reached 1.5B users in 2022.

And, Google confirmed that they’re looking for ways to include short-form content in organic search results – which means, of course, even more people downloading TikTok.

Spark Ads for TikTok

TikTok recently released Spark Ads, and they’re exactly the kind of ads that make users click.

Why? They leverage user-generated content (UGC).

Spark Ads help brands amplify existing organic videos published by creators – and they tend to outperform traditional ads.

If you haven’t run Spark Ads yet and are interested in trying, here are 5 points to keep in mind:

  • Use royalty-free audio, or any audio you already own the rights to.
  • Cover your bases before boosting a duet or stitched video. You need permission from both creators. Many duets feature a celebrity, which can make it difficult—or expensive—to get permission.
  • Branded hashtags may cause copyright issues. If a creator adds copyright-protected hashtags to their post, TikTok won’t run your Spark Ads campaign.
  • Pay attention to the time frame. Usually, creators authorize the use of their posts for a specific amount of time. If you need more time, request an authorization renewal.
  • No threshold on followers. You can turn the post of any creator into a Spark Ad, regardless of their follower count.

TikTok Ads are a huge revenue opportunity for brands right now.

TikTok’s usage predicted to beat YouTube’s

The popular social media platform already raced past apps like Facebook and Instagram when it comes to usage time.

And now it seems the clock is ticking and tocking for YouTube, too…

Mind the gap: eMarketer reports that over 40% of Gen Z average 3 hours a day on TikTok, and just over 3 hours a day on YouTube.

The difference between both apps’ usage is about a fraction of a minute.

That may not sound like much, but those minutes add up.

Researchers predict TikTok will close the gap and outrun YouTube next.

The future of social media looks like TikTok

Big tech CEOs agree: The future of social media looks like TikTok.

In a recent call with investors, Snapchat’s CEO, Evan Spiegel, said that people are flocking to Spotlight, Snapchat’s TikTok rival, to get their content.

Meta (Facebook) CEO Zuckerberg also acknowledged the trend, saying that “people have a lot of choices for how they want to spend their time, and apps like TikTok are growing very quickly.”

In other words, TikTok isn’t a standalone phenomenon.

Other big tech CEOs are taking notice, and the TikTok-style format will continue growing in popularity on all the platforms you market on.

People don’t simply have a craving for TikTok – they’ve acquired a taste for short-form, randomized, bite-sized content.

Which means that the type of marketing that works on TikTok will, increasingly, be the type of marketing that works everywhere.

What this all means

TikTok isn’t a cute platform where kids dance and lip-sync and get into drama.

Well, it is that, but it’s also much more.

More than a billion people use this platform every month, and every smart marketer we know is taking advantage.

Software Blade

SoftwareBlade.com covers today's software and tomorrow's emerging technology.

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