ECommerce to VCommerce the TikTok Way

August 9, 2021

TikTok is the most popular non-gaming app downloaded in the Western world. Amazingly it is owned by Chinese company ByteDance Limited. Trump attempted to ban it during his tenure, but failed. The Taipei Times published a Bloomberg Opinion entitled, “TikTok eyes E-Commerce, Gaming And Everything Else” about ByteDance’s future for TikTok. It is astounding how much TikTok has grown over the past year:

“TikTok’s growth and the level of its user engagement have been remarkable. According to Sensor Tower, the app was the most downloaded and highest-grossing non-game during the first half of this year, surpassing 3 billion total installs. Analysts expect TikTok to keep growing faster than its competitors, and industry tracker eMarketer projects that the app’s user base in the US would rise 18 percent this year, compared with a 1 percent increase for Facebook Inc and a 4 percent gain for Facebook’s Instagram.

Most impressive of all, TikTok users are growing more addicted to the short-video service. Research firm App Annie has said that the app has surpassed Google’s YouTube for average time spent per user in the US and the UK.”

TikTok’s competitors are ramping up their own game. Facebook will upgrade Instagram to also be a mobile video entertainment platform. YouTube and Snap Inc. started their own short-video services and are paying creators for content. TikTok is expected to remain the top short-video platform due to its popularity, continues to add new features, and creators do not need to go anywhere else.

TikTok’s current job listings have over one hundred listings for e-commerce positions and nearly ninety with the word “live.” ByteDance wants to become the one stop hub for live-streaming social commerce and they plan to focus on several industries: fashion, beauty, lifestyle, technology, and anything else that allows them to sell merchandise directly through the platform. ByteDance already does this with TikTok’s Chinese counterpart, Douyin.

TikTok could face regulatory action in the US, because it might pose a data-security risk. It could complicate TikTok’s initial public offering, but any advertising is good. Making TikTok “illegal” could make not all the more appealing.

Whitney Grace, August 9, 2021


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