TikTok’s taking the next steps forward in its eCommerce integration push, with the introduction of new Shopping Ads, which will provide more ways for brands to promote their products in-stream.
As explained by TikTok:
“Shopping Ads is a simpler, smarter, and more advanced ad solution that helps brands meet shoppers wherever they are in the purchase journey, sparking demand and boosting sales. It’s a three-in-one solution with new formats to adopt and combine: Video Shopping Ads, Catalog Listing Ads, and LIVE Shopping Ads.”
You can see the three new formats in the examples above, with product details overlaid on-screen to better highlight your items to viewers.
Though it’s not entirely new. TikTok has actually offered the same options for years in the Chinese version of TikTok, called ‘Douyin’.
In-stream commerce has become Douyin’s biggest earner, with live shopping, in particular, becoming a major trend among Chinese web users.
Live shopping hasn’t seen the same take up in western markets as yet, but TikTok’s hoping that it can still become a thing, and provide it with another means to help creators generate direct revenue from their TikTok efforts, thereby expanding its business ecosystem.
Though the chances of live shopping seeing similar response to what it has in China are not great. Meta recently scaled back its live commerce experiments due to lack of user interest, while TikTok itself has also had to reassess its European eCommerce plans after poor initial response. That’s not to say that it won’t eventually take hold, but initial indicators suggest that western users are potentially more wary of such options – or that they don’t necessarily see TikTok as more than an entertainment platform as yet.
Still, TikTok remains confident, with its own data showing that users are interested in more in-stream buying options.
One way or another, you can expect it to explore every opportunity, which also presents new ways for brands to reach consumers, and adds another potentially valuable consideration for your holiday marketing push.
TikTok’s new shopping ads are now available via the app’s approved partners.
Some of these elements remain in limited testing, but if you are interested, you can contact these partners for more information.
TikTok has also shared this overview of how to implement Shopping ads, with merchants that are already utilizing approved eCommerce platforms able to skip the initial steps.
Iran pop singer silenced, but his song remains a protest anthem
Shervin Hajipour’s song “Baraye” draws on the tweets of Iranians longing for a normal life – Copyright Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP)/AFP –
Even though he has been silenced, Iranian pop singer Shirvin Hajipour’s impassioned song in support of protests over Mahsa Amini’s death in custody remains an unofficial anthem of the movement.
The song “Baraye” notched up 40 million views on Instagram before it was deleted when Hajipour was arrested, but he has since been freed on bail and has distanced himself from politics, likely as a condition for his release.
Baraye, the Persian word “For” or “Because”, is composed of tweets about the protests and highlights longings people have for things lacking in sanctions-hit Iran, where many complain of hardship caused by economic mismanagement.
It also draws on everyday activities that have landed people in trouble with the authorities in the Islamic republic.
“For the sake of dancing in the streets; Because of the fear felt while kissing; For my sister, your sister, your sisters,” the song’s lyrics say.
“Because of the embarrassment of an empty pocket; Because we are longing for a normal life… Because of this polluted air.”
Baraye has been heard played loudly at night from apartment blocks in Iran to show support for protests sparked by Amini’s death on September 16, after the notorious morality police arrested her for allegedly breaching rules requiring women to wear hijab headscarves and modest clothes.
It was also sung with gusto by the Iranian diaspora at rallies in more than 150 cities around the world at the weekend.
In one clip shared by the New York-based Center for Human Rights in Iran, a group of schoolgirls without headscarves is seen singing Baraye in class with their backs to the camera.
The tune was removed from Hajipour’s Instagram account shortly after his arrest but is still widely available on other social media platforms, including Twitter and YouTube.
– ‘Because of forced Instagram stories’ –
Hajipour’s lawyer Majid Kaveh said he was released on bail at noon on Tuesday.
The reformist Shargh newspaper said his family had been informed of his arrest in the northern city of Sari on Saturday, in a report that cited his sister Kamand Hajipour.
She had said in an Instagram post that her parents had been informed of his arrest in a call from the city’s intelligence ministry offices.
Shortly after his release, Hajipour was back on Instagram, but this time to apologise and distance himself from politics.
“I’m here to say I’m okay,” he told his 1.9 million followers on the platform.
“But I’m sorry that some particular movements based outside of Iran — which I have had no relations with — made some improper political uses of this song.
“I would not swap this (country) for anywhere else and I will stay for my homeland, my flag, my people, and I will sing.
“I don’t want to be a plaything for those who do not think of me, you or this country,” he added.
In response to his post, many on Twitter suggested the line “Because of forced Instagram stories” should be added to the lyrics of the song.
Human rights groups including Article 19 have repeatedly called on Iran to end its use of forced confessions, which they say are false and extracted under duress or even torture.
In one recent case, a young Iranian woman, Sepideh Rashno, disappeared after becoming involved in a dispute on a Tehran bus with another woman who accused her of removing her headscarf.
She was held by the powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and appeared on television in what activists said was a forced confession before being released on bail in late August.
Iran pop singer silenced, but his song remains a protest anthem
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