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TikTok Launches New Seller University as it Looks to Expand its eCommerce Push



As expected, TikTok is working quickly to provide more monetization options for creators, with new eCommerce and in-stream selling tools that users will eventually be able to incorporate into their profiles, videos and live-streams.

The latest development on this front, following its partnership with Shopify and its recent showcase of coming eCommerce options to advertisers, is a new education portal called TikTok Shop: Seller University, which TikTok is currently testing in Indonesia.

TikTok Seller University

As you can see here, TikTok describes the new education platform as:

“…a training hub to help you do business on TikTok. We offer a full suite of lessons on seller tools, policies and the latest updates to the shop. Start to learn and sell big!”

Users will eventually be able to sign-up to the program to sell products on TikTok in a range of ways.

If you choose to sell through your personal page, you can then display products via livestreaming or short videos, with product anchors embedded in your content. When customers view your content, they can be re-directed to the corresponding product detail page by clicking on the product anchor.”

TikTok selling

TikTok also notes that those who sign up to the program will be able to showcase their products on a second tab of their profile page.

In addition to this, the program also has an affiliate element, which will enable brands to sign-up to have prominent TikTok creators promote their offerings on the platform.

“If you choose to sell through Affiliate, you can upload your products to the Seller Center, set your promotion plans, and collaborate with TikTok influencers to promote your products.”

That also ties into TikTok’s Creator Marketplace, which provides a listing of platform influencers that brands can partner with for promotions.

eCommerce is a key avenue for TikTok’s next evolution, with the platform working to build an eco-system that ensures its creators can make money from their on-platform efforts. If they can’t, they’ll soon realize that they can generate more income by posting their content to Instagram or YouTube instead – and if TikTok loses those top creators, it could quickly lose relevance, and audience, to the larger players.

TikTok’s parent company ByteDance has already leaned into eCommerce with the Chinese version of TikTok, called ‘Douyin’, which now generates the majority of its revenue from in-stream shopping.

Douyin shopping

Given this, it’s little surprise to see TikTok accelerating its push into eCommerce as it eyes the next stage of growth. The platform is reportedly closing in on a billion users, and is at a key stage of development. If it can successfully implement revenue-generation tools for creators, it stands a good chance of becoming a major challenger for social media ad dollars long-term, establishing a sustainable foundation for future growth.

That, of course, does also depend on regulatory moves and possible restrictions, with some questions still swirling over the app’s future in the US. The Biden Administration has indicated that it will not pursue the previous government’s push to have TikTok sold off to an Oracle/Walmart-led consortium, but it has also noted that it may look to have the platform wholly sold into US ownership at some stage.

TikTok may still have to contend with those concerns, but in terms of its business structure, it also needs to implement eCommerce tools, and fast, to maximize its potential.

This new platform looks like another key step.

In order to sell products on TikTok, you first need to sign up for a TikTok account.

“Once you’ve signed up to TikTok, you can then join the TikTok Shop through the Seller Center. Please follow the instructions below:

  • First, sign up as a TikTok Shop seller and enter your basic information such as where you are based, your phone number, email address, and more. Please note that all fields must be completed. 
  • ​Next, enter your basic business information such as shop name, where your shop is based, warehouse address, and more. 
  • ​Complete or provide the required documents (such as your business registration information or personal information). The TikTok Shop reserves the right to verify the information that has been submitted.” 

You can’t sign up for the Seller Center as yet, but it looks to be coming very soon.

Thanks to Matt Navarra for the heads up about the new Seller University.


Meta Threatens to Ban News Publishers Amid Debate Over New Revenue Share Proposal



NFTs are Coming to Facebook and Instagram – Whether You Like Them or Not

As Meta continues to lean further into AI-based content recommendations to keep users engaged in its apps, you know what it doesn’t need anywhere near as much as it used to? News content.

Meta has made this much clear, by ending its content deals with publishers, cutting its investment into news initiatives like its dedicated News Tab, Instant Articles and newsletters, and even directly noting that it’s de-prioritizing political news in-stream.

Which is why the latest push in the US to force Meta to pay more to news publishers seems particularly ill-timed.

This week, reports have suggested that the controversial ‘Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA) has been added to the annual defense authorization bill, which could see it carried into law in the new year.

The JCPA would facilitate an exemption under US antitrust law that would enable US news outlets to collectively bargain with social media platforms in order to negotiate a larger share of ad revenue, in exchange for the use of their content – i.e. it would force Meta to pay for links to news content in its apps.

Which is now, and always has been a controversial policy approach. But with the Australian Treasury Department recently reporting that its similar Media Bargaining Code has been a success, and has re-directed millions into the local media market, other nations are now taking a closer look – with New Zealand now also considering its own Media Bargaining Code along similar lines.

But again, Meta probably doesn’t need news like it used to anymore, and it could cut it off entirely in response. Which is exactly what Meta has threatened to do.

As per Meta:

If Congress passes an ill-considered journalism bill as part of national security legislation, we will be forced to consider removing news from our platform altogether rather than submit to government-mandated negotiations that unfairly disregard any value we provide to news outlets through increased traffic and subscriptions.”

Now, there’s a level of posturing here, and it seems unlikely that Meta would remove news content entirely. But that is what it did in Australia last year, amid negotiations over the media Bargaining bill.

At the same time, Australia’s media ecosphere is far smaller than the US. Would Meta really move to block all US news organizations from sharing content in its apps – and if it did, what would that mean for engagement and interaction in each?

This is the key point of the debate. On one side, media organizations argue that Meta generates a heap of engagement off the back of its reporting, which then constitutes a significant chunk of its revenue, because more users engaging more often means more ads, etc.

But Meta says that news content isn’t as big a deal to it as publishers seem to think – and as Meta notes, it views this as a more reciprocal relationship, where publishers use its apps to maximize reach, which in-turn helps them drive their business.

And again, Meta has been distancing itself from news content more and more over time, and leaning into a more TikTok-like approach of showing users video clips and entertaining posts, based on AI-fueled recommendations for each user.

Given this, could Meta now be in a position to actually cut off news publishers entirely, without impacting its revenue performance?

You can bet that, with Meta announcing major cutbacks, it’s not going to be giving up any revenue easily.

It’s early days, but this could be one to watch, as Meta potentially heads for a stand-off with publishers, in several regions, in the new year.

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