Are you up to date on changes from TikTok? Wondering which TikTok updates are important to marketers?
In this article, we explore TikTok changes that affect your marketing.
#1: TikTok Shop
TikTok has officially launched TikTok Shop in the US, opening up major new ecommerce opportunities for brands and creators.
With TikTok Shop, brands can upload their product catalogs and sell directly to customers within the TikTok app.
Creators on the platform can browse TikTok Shop, choose products they want to promote, and earn a commission for driving sales. Since TikTok Shop displays exactly how much money a creator will earn per sale before they decide to promote something, the platform has a marked advantage over other platforms.
Our Take: TikTok has been strongly encouraging users to explore Shop and find products to promote. Kelly explained that over the past few months, when she logged into TikTok she would immediately see TikTok Shop instead of her usual feed. Now that TikTok Shop is officially launched in the US, this push will likely intensify as TikTok's goal is to get creators to drive product discovery and sales in a seamless, native way.
Early data shows this formula is working. According to Kelly, TikTok users engage with content and commerce at much higher rates compared to other platforms. She predicts that if a brand can get thousands of users to comment about a product, it can generate a massive amount of leads and sales.
#2: Fulfilled by TikTok
TikTok has launched a new logistics program called “Fulfilled by TikTok” in the UK which allows sellers to use TikTok's warehouse and delivery services.
Fulfilled by TikTok is now available to sellers based in the UK who offer physical products through TikTok Shop.
Our Take: According to social media strategist Keenya Kelly, the new Fulfilled by TikTok service will function similarly to Amazon’s Fulfillment by Amazon. TikTok will store, pack, and ship products on behalf of merchants selling through TikTok Shop in the UK.
The goal is to provide sellers with reliable and timely order fulfillment without the headaches of managing logistics themselves. TikTok promises perks like same-day shipping for orders placed by 7pm and improved customer service. This means when a customer purchases the product, TikTok handles the entire delivery process.
By managing fulfillment and delivery, TikTok aims to create a seamless, end-to-end shopping experience that drives greater product discovery, sales, and customer satisfaction.
Kelly predicts that just as Amazon leveraged fulfillment to grow its marketplace, TikTok will use Fulfilled by TikTok to expand ecommerce and become the go-to shopping app for its users. She expects the program to eventually expand beyond the UK.
For sellers, Fulfilled by TikTok provides faster and more reliable order fulfillment without operational costs and effort. As TikTok races to catch up to Amazon, Fulfilled by TikTok represents its next big step into ecommerce.
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#3: TikTok Messaging
Last year, TikTok introduced direct messaging capabilities. Now, TikTok is assembling a team specifically devoted to expanding the app's social and messaging functions.
Our Take: According to social media expert Keenya Kelly, TikTok has been focused primarily on video viewing, commenting, and sharing. But behind the scenes, major developments are happening around messaging.
For now, TikTok messaging remains barebones compared to its competitors. But by devoting resources into developing its social and messaging features, TikTok aims to keep users within its app for longer periods each day.
Kelly predicts this will open up new marketing opportunities on TikTok. She hopes to see automation tools such as ManyChat integrated into TikTok messaging so marketers can capture leads through techniques like sending users a message to drive an opt-in.
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Given TikTok's massive engagement rates, messaging automation and bots could provide marketers unparalleled reach. If a brand can get thousands of users to respond to a message, the amount of lead generation and sales potential is staggering.
#4: TikTok Search Ads
TikTok has introduced a major upgrade to its advertising platform: with the new search ads placement. The new ad unit allows brands to put their ads in front of users as they search for relevant content and the ads will appear in varying positions on the search results page.
The ads are clearly labeled as sponsored so users understand they are commercial content.
Our Take: According to social media marketing expert Keenya Kelly, the search ads feature works seamlessly within the existing TikTok ad interface.
Advertisers simply toggle on the new setting and TikTok will show the brand's ads alongside top videos when users search for relevant keywords or hashtags. For example, a brand selling teeth aligners can choose to show ads when people search for terms like “Invisalign”.
Kelly explains that search ads build on people's natural TikTok behavior. Users already turn to TikTok's search bar to explore topics they care about. Integrating ads boosts visibility exactly when interest is piqued. This makes them more likely to engage with and convert from the ads.
TikTok's powerful recommendation algorithm will further optimize which searchers see each ad. As with other TikTok ad units, advanced targeting and creative options are available.
#5: AI Content Label
TikTok is rolling out a new label to alert users when a video has been fully generated by artificial intelligence. The goal is to increase transparency around synthetic media as AI technology becomes more advanced.
Our Take: TikTok's introduction of the AI label follows growing concerns about “deepfakes” and AI-generated misinformation. By flagging synthetic content, TikTok aims to build trust and alleviate risks around the technology.
Social media strategist Keenya Kelly explained that TikTok will prompt creators to add the “AI label” when uploading videos created entirely by AI systems. While many videos may use AI tools for editing or effects, this applies only to content generated from start to finish algorithmically without human involvement.
Some AI techniques like overdubbing voices or faces remain controversial. TikTok's label provides a degree of control without stifling innovation. However, the onus falls on creators to use the label responsibly.
TikTok warns that videos identified as AI that do not have the label may be removed from the platform. However, Kelly believes TikTok is unlikely to take down AI content if it is performing very well and properly labeled. She believes this warning gives TikTok discretion to remove potentially problematic synthetic media if needed.
As AI algorithms grow more powerful, TikTok's AI label may become a precursor to verifying authenticity across social platforms. For now, marketers on TikTok should use the label ethically and ensure transparency with audiences.
Keenya Kelly is a TikTok & Instagram Reels expert. She runs a social media agency and hosts the Keenya Kelly Podcast.
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