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TikTok Updates: In-app shopping, beta testing search ads

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TikTok updates so far in 2023 include in-app shopping as well as testing ads that will appear at the top of the search results page to allow advertisers to target users searching for specific terms. The platform has also launched a new “refresh” feature to allow users to reset their For You Page (FYP) if content is feeling stale or feeling relevant.

TikTok introduced beta ‘Creativity Program’

This new program is an invite-only program designed to help creators monetize their content. The interesting part is once invited and accepted, creators have to post videos longer than one minute in order for those videos to earn money. Most high-performing TikTok videos tend to be 15-30 seconds long.

TikTok already has a program designed to help creators earn from videos, but one of the main differences between the two programs is eligibility.

The TikTok Creator Fund is open to creators that meet the following criteria:

  • 18+ years of age
  • Based either in the U.S. or Europe
  • Minimum 10,000 followers
  • Have videos with 100,000 views in the last 30 days
  • Follow TikTok Community Guidelines

The TikTok Creativity Program, on the other hand, is invite-only at the moment and will only be available to creators who meet specific requirements that have not yet been disclosed.


WTF is TikTok Trivia & why is it all over the app?

If you’ve opened TikTok over the last week, you may have noticed the banners, CTAs, and interstitial ads prompting you to partake in ‘Trivia.’ TikTok is trying to maximize engagement in the app with the new Live trivia series that gives participants the chance to win actual money within the app. The trivia was run from the 22nd of Feburary to the 27th.

Anyone 18 years or older in the US can register for TikTok Trivia by clicking on a trivia widget on the For You feed. Each day will feature opportunities to win cash, and during the activation, you’ll see fun surprises and integrations from Lionsgate and John Wick Chapter 4.”

It’s interesting to see TikTok trying to get their user base to interact in real time with a live streams. I’m sure this isn’t the last time we’ll see trivia like this.


TikTok ‘Insights’ tool adds 7,000 new data points

TikTok dropped 7,000 new insights to consider when it comes to statistics and trends on the app. You can filter between industry, time, location, audience and year.

This is a handy tool for your content research efforts – offering insights such as “Millennial TikTok users are 54% more likely to engage with content on social & video platforms post purchase (vs. other platforms).”


TikTok launches in-app shopping

We already know TikTok is being used as a search engine – but now it’s stepping up to the big games with in-app shopping. The app quietly launched its in-app checkout feature in the US, allowing brands to sell their products directly on TikTok. Currently, only select brands (like Pacsun and KimChi Chic) have access to the new feature.

Brands that offer a shopping experience will feature a small bag icon on their profile. There, users can explore a product catalog with images, videos, description, and prices. Users can also add products from different stores to the same cart.

It’s a smart move on TikTok’s part – and levels up the app to the ranks of Instagram, which did this 2020. Ironically, Instagram recently pulled their Shop tab from the home screen, instead focusing on creator monetization and launching community-enabled features (read below).


The time has come to reset your TikTok FYP

TikTok is toying with a new feature that will let you reset your For You Page if it starts getting dull.

Background: When you make an account on TikTok for the very first time, your For You page isn’t really for you because it doesn’t know you yet. At the beginning, TikTok’s algorithm serves you a wide variety of content and tracks what you seem to be most interested in. Then, it programmatically curates a feed that is for youIt’s notably one of the best personalized algorithms out there.

But sometimes, your FYP can get stale. Or miss the mark altogether.

Example: If the algorithm noticed you watched a couple frog videos, it might serve you exclusively amphibian-related TikTok videos — and you probably want to see more than that…

That’s what the new Refresh feature is for. Enjoy the reset!


TikTok search ads now available in beta

TikTok is beta testing search ads within its app. Labeled as “Sponsored”, this ad type will appear at the top of the search results page, usually among the first four results. Advertisers will eventually be able to target users searching for specific terms, adding value for them.

Like we’ve mentioned before, whether it’s for workout routines, planning a vacation, or finding a new skin care product, people are turning to TikTok as a search destination – not so subtly stomping on the toes of Google. If you’re questioning whether or not to invest your precious ad dollars into TikTok ads, it might be worth exploring.


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