TikTok became a household name in 2020 in the midst of the pandemic, with people looking for other entertainment options and ways to connect. In 2021, TikTok continued to dominate the social media landscape by reaching over 1 billion users. There’s no doubt TikTok and short-form video content will continue to increase in popularity in 2022 and beyond.
As a TikTok marketing expert who watches trends and reports on TikTok culture, below are my predictions on how the app will evolve in 2022.
TikTok isn’t just about recorded videos. Your audience wants to engage with you in real-time. If you’re a regular user of TikTok, you may have noticed how popular live streaming has become on the app. This is a new feature– it was only just this past year that TikTok has created a livestream feed. This is another vertical feed you can scroll through of people just like you who are live streaming on the app. I believe TikTok will continue to promote and encourage users to leverage this feature.
In addition to video streams, shopping streams are growing in popularity on TikTok. We have already seen livestream shopping in the Chinese version of the app, Douyin, and in the UK. Shopping streams are live streams where businesses and brands can sell their products with clickable links. This lets them show off the product’s features and answer questions in real-time while keeping the audience’s attention within the app. They can also offer user discounts for live stream viewers to encourage purchasing within the app.
By helping keep the audience in the app, brands and businesses can keep their attention longer, which can really help with furthering their appeal and presence on the app.
The rise of social commerce will be experienced on TikTok in 2022. More in-app shopping features are expected to appear in videos and from product pages on a business user’s profile. The TikTok Shops feature was recently launched, which allows brands and business owners to create an online store creating even more opportunities for brands to increase sales. We’ve already seen that when products go viral on TikTok, it can increase interest in a product to the point where it sells out.
TikTok culture is personal; the TikTok audience likes the individual touch and loves to see behind the scenes of a business or brand. This personal aspect adds an emotional value to the things they buy. A product isn’t just a product– it’s part of an experience and allows them to share that experience with other audience members. Even big brands are using TikTok culture to influence consumers and expand their reach.
Trends will continue to be in high demand. Trends are already very popular on the app, and the life cycle of an individual trend is shortening. In 2020 trends would last approximately 7-10 days, and by 2021, trends were lasting about 3-6 days. As more users join the app and make their own content, trend length is expected to get even shorter.
Users are seeking trends much earlier than they appear on the discover page so that by the time they do appear on the discover page, they are already irrelevant. Users grow tired of the same sound or song very quickly as they consume content; therefore, demand for participating in trends before they become popular or saturated will increase. I expect to see more tools built to be able to predict trends earlier.
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This is a big one. App technology is developing quickly, and I expect to see an increase in augmented reality (AR) and maybe even virtual reality (VR) capabilities by 2023. AR is already popular with TikTok effects used in the app, and in the fall of 2021, TikTok launched a new creative toolset called TikTok Effect Studio.
While the TikTok Effect Studio is currently in private beta testing, it will eventually allow the public developer community to build AR effects for TikTok’s short-form videos. This means that it won’t just be big brands that have access to branded AR effects; anybody who can develop will soon be able to design their own. I expect to see an increase in brands and businesses using AR with branded effects and challenges to increase awareness and revenue.
As more brands gravitate towards the app, the demand for user-generated content will increase. We will continue to see this with brand challenges but also with brands who generally need content creators to make videos that showcase their products and who align with their values. Content creators will have more opportunities to increase their revenue through influencer marketing and through programs TikTok is designing to help brands partner and find quality content creators.
These are only some of the major trends I predict for TikTok in 2022! Stay tuned to my TikTok account for my trend predictions and you will find one that can help boost your reach! ps. You can see all of the courses I offer here on my website and get weekly trends updates here.