With TikTok’s parent company ByteDance coming under increased revenue pressure, you can expect to see more eCommerce integrations coming to TikTok very soon, as a means to capitalize on the app’s key opportunity.
Which is already happening in various ways, with the latest test seeing users in Indonesia get access to a new ‘Shop’ tab in the app, which sits alongside their ‘For You’ and ‘Following’ feeds.
As you can see in this example, shared by Watchful.ai, TikTok is now trying out a specific shopping segment, with as much UI priority as its main content streams. There’s also a shopping cart icon in the top right, so you can add items to purchase as you scroll, which points, as noted, to the next evolution for the world-beating video app.
TikTok’s been moving in this direction for a while, which essentially follows the same development process that ByteDance has used for the Chinese version of the app, called ‘Douyin’. The majority of Douyin’s revenue now comes from in-stream eCommerce integrations, which also offers a valuable pathway for creator monetization, via brand partnership integrations that facilitate more organic type promotions in the app.
TikTok’s hoping to integrate the same into its offering, which could help it compete with Instagram and YouTube on creator monetization. Right now, creators can make a lot more money on YouTube, via YouTube’s Partner Program, which pays out billions to participating creators every year. That, eventually, could become an existential concern for TikTok, as it did for Vine before it, because the biggest stars will logically gravitate towards the platforms where they can derive the most benefit,
That could see them de-prioritizing TikTok over time, which is why TikTok needs to make integrated commerce work, while it will also deliver more revenue potential and opportunity, and help ByteDance capitalize on the popularity of the app.
And as noted, ByteDance would be very keen for more income right now. The company has cut thousands of employees in recent weeks as part of a major cost-cutting push, triggered by the Chinese Government’s regulatory crackdown on the live-streaming, gaming and social media sectors.
In an effort to reduce the influence of live-streaming platforms, and reign in tech platforms, the CCP has implemented restrictions on what can be broadcast in live-streams, how much people can spend online, and when people can watch, especially young users. That’s forced many to reassess their use of Douyin as a business opportunity, which has also put the squeeze on ByteDance’s prospects – and amid the broader global economic downturn, the company’s balance sheets suddenly don’t look as great as they once did, and as one would suspect they should, given TikTok ad spend continues to rise.
But now, TikTok likely presents its most valuable opportunity, while ByteDance could also be looking to cash in on such now, before other regions potentially follow China’s lead, and implement similar restrictions on live-stream commerce and activity.
That seems less likely outside of China. But then again, TikTok is under regular examination over its potential harms and risks, with an FCC Commissioner just this week calling on Apple and Google to remove the app from their stores due to concerns over it being used as a surveillance tool by Chinese authorities.
Essentially, TikTok’s future prospects are not guaranteed, which is another reason why ByteDance will be keen to push ahead now, and take in as much revenue as it can from these tools and features.
It’s still working to integrate its full suite of commerce tools, including payment options, along with its integrations with Shopify and other commerce platforms. But you can bet that it’s working quickly, which could present more opportunities in future.
At least, while TikTok remains available, that is.
Snapchat Launches Snapchat+ Service in India, at a Significantly Lower Price Point
This is one way to boost your ‘average revenue per user’ stats.
A month after launching its new Snapchat+ subscription offering to users in predominantly western markets, Snap is now also making the option available in India – though at a much lower price point than the initial push.
Snapchat+, which offers exclusive access to new and experimental features, including alternative icons, profile badges, additional analytics and also a desktop version of the app, is available to users in the US, Canada, the UK, France, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, and UAE for $US3.99 per month (or local equivalent).
But in India, Snapchat+ will be launched at a starting price of ₹49 – which converts to around $US0.62.
That seems like a fairly big discount, and according to reports, Snapchat+ in India will offer access to all the same features and tools that the general offering has.
So why so cheap?
Well, for one, it’s a different market, and Snap needs to price its offerings in line with the local economy. Snapchat+ also doesn’t cost Snap anything to produce, as such, as there are no production costs built in (other than system maintenance), so it has the flexibility offer variable price points, if it so chooses.
And as noted, it could crucially be a way for Snap to enhance its revenue per user stats, which, right now, reflect its strong reliance on the North American market for revenue.
If Snap can even that out, and show how it can become a more important, valuable platform in other markets, and make money from its presence, that could help to improve its market standing, while also bringing in additional revenue – which would also be income that’s not reliant on ad spend. And like all social apps, Snap’s ad revenue has taken a hit due to Apple’s ATT update.
It seems like a logical and sensible approach, helping to make the app more sticky with Indian users, and ideally, increasing adoption and revenue intake in another key region.
Snap has seen significant growth in India since it upgraded its Android app back in 2019. Android is by far the most popular OS in the Indian market, and as local connectivity and tech continues to evolve, that’s also opened the door for Snapchat to establish a bigger local presence, while the banning of TikTok in 2020 also pushed Indian users to find alternatives, further enhancing Snap’s appeal.
Indeed, Snapchat is now reportedly up to 144 million daily actives in the Indian market, overtaking the US (108m) as its top country by user adoption – so while it’s not the highest earning region for the company, it is now, arguably, the most important, which is why the expansion of Snapchat+ makes sense.
And while western users may be annoyed that they have to pay more for these features, it could be a clever push by Snap, which could end up paying off big time for the app.
Snapchat Launches Snapchat+ Service in India, at a Significantly Lower Price Point
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