by Christian Duque
The social media game is one that’s constantly changing and only those who stay ahead of it will succeed. I’ve been talking about the evolution of Tiktok for the last 24 months because we’ve seen the Chinese-based app move away from being an app for adolescents into being an app competing with Instagram with adults. Although it’s only been around for six years, it’s already giving Instagram (owned by Facebook) a major run for its money. L
Unlike Instagram, Tiktok and Likee are apps where influencers can be part of teams and earn money by going Live. The idea behind that, is if enough influences go Live, it will keep followers on that particular app without ever going back to Instagram, Facebook, or even YouTube.
Tiktok offers live videos and has also started allowing for full length videos as well. In terms of censorship, you’d think that an app based out of communist China would have draconian limits on speech, but unlike apps like Twitter which up until recently banned people for different political opinions, Tiktok’s only gripes are nudity and excessive violence. Besides that, anything is pretty much goes. Moreover, even with the areas it has gripes with, the lines are pretty blurry.
This is why many people who use OF on IG market themselves more on Tiktok than in OF’s parent companies Instagram and Facebook. The fact of the matter is that Tiktok provides more of an earning potential given how new it is and how much the app needs influencers in order to have a fighting chance against rival apps that have been around longer and also have powerful backers like Google and Facebook, respectively.
With the exception of OF there really aren’t many ways for Instagram influencers to monetize their followings. Google does have a monetization option with YouTube but this isn’t something Facebook has really embraced because Facebook rose to dominance during the demise of Myspace. That domination has never really been challenged. Facebook remains a must-have for friends and family, while IG is the goto for social marketing. Once IG became part of the portfolio it ensured that Facebook would never have to compete in the social media sphere.
Twitter is a big variable today. Although most fitness influencers maintain an account there, very few post consistently. With regards to fitness, Twitter has been dead on the vine for about 5-10 years. Guys like Phil Heath, Kai Greene, and Ronnie Coleman all have Twitter accounts and none ever see triple digit retweets, quotes, or comments despite the fact they have hundreds of thousands of supporters. If Elon Musk ever made it as to where influencers could actually reach all of their followers that might be the game-changer for that app.
Reach is a fundamental issue and it seems all social media apps play games when it comes to how many followers influencers can actually communicate with. This is the case when it comes to Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Youtube; however, it seems that Tiktok isn’t messing around with irrational algorithms that sabotage influencers, advertisers, and/or create hurdles for users trying to find their favorite pages.
In my estimation, Tiktok is the most barebones app but at the same time offers constant updates and free tools to grow. Users can collaborate more easily, remix posts, and limit the amount of unwanted messages they receive. There’s also very few bots on there which reduces the amount of spam.
Unlike IG which has a spam folder, general folder, and primary folder, the only way you can message people on TikTok is if they follow a user and that user allows that follow in the first place. Only then can there be a platform to communicate.
Many users also disable comments and/or disable the ability of viewers to download content. If they do decide to download content, the video comes with watermarks that not only promote the app but also promote the influencer. This built-in security is key because anyone who tries to steal the content will be caught in the act. This is why a lot of influencers allow their content to be downloaded even by folks who aren’t following them. Anytime that footage goes up it’ll promote the channel where it came from and it also makes it very easy for an influencer to flag their stolen content on other apps because the watermarks make the issue of ownership quite clear.
The fact that Tiktok is drawing more and more adults has also caused many supplement companies to take to the app. Some marketing experts are already talking about splitting their ad revenue from Facebook/Instagram with Tiktok. If in fact this happens we can see a major shift take place when it comes to how much reach the app has in bodybuilding.
Right now, I’d say most companies have all but given up on Twitter and do very little on Youtube given how hard it’s become to get hits there. Huge supplement companies that used to live on the video-sharing app have long left it because of the implementation of the bell for notifications. Instead of advertising directly they may work with select channels like Desktop Bodybuilding, Nick’s Strength And Power, and Bodybuilding and BS; however, you won’t see anywhere near the amount of pop-up ads or commercials prior to videos that you would have seen in the early 2010’s. The reason for this is that YouTube is giving far less value for the money that these companies used to pay.
Tiktok being so new is offering great rates and the kind of reach the old apps used to offer. Between influencers starting to leave IG, earning more on Tiktok through gifts and members-only features, and companies starting to advertise more there, it may force Instagram to reassess its business model. Up until now, the Facebook-owned app really hasn’t had any competition to speak of.
And competition is good! It’s not only the basis for capitalism, it’s the basis for improving the status quo and ensuring that no one gets too powerful. While lawmakers have been trying to figure out ways to use anti-monopoly legislation on Facebook to level out the playing field, it’s the new kid on the block that may do that quite naturally. The numbers don’t lie nor does the order in which influences are listing apps in order of importance.
Are you on Tiktok? How much time do you spend on the app? Do you think it will surpass Instagram? You already know where I stand. At the very least, I think anyone who’s serious about social media needs to have a presence on “the clock” and they need to make a point to upload content on a consistent basis. The question of whether Tiktiok may or may not take over has been asked and answered. If it continues growing at the pace it has been, I think it’ll totally relegate Instagram to second fiddle for most people in and around the fitness industry.