"Small Gestures" is a new feature in the TikTok app and allows the users to send and receive free, virtual gifts from multiple brand partners of the app.
These gifts are for promotional purposes but are mainly free to send.
As quoted by TikTok, "By collaborating with our brand partners on this new program, we're able to give users a platform to feel connected with their friends and family through the small gesture of sending a gift to someone who might need it most. And thanks to our generous partners, these 'Small Gestures' are offered free for all TikTok users to send gifts up to three separate times."
The gifts on offer are digital rather than physical in nature. There are many gift offerings provided by the app, few of which are:
- 1-month DashPass free subscription
- 90-day Adobe Premium Rush subscription
- 90 day Pandora subscription and so on
So you get the idea of what these "gifts" are. They are free promotional offers whose purpose is to get more people to use their services.
Small Gestures gifts are easy to send and can be navigated easily using the Discover page.
Users need to search "Small Gestures" on the discover page and proceed to tap the purple banner for the program. Once you tap that, you will get a list of free exciting offers that you can send via message.
By using these promotional business strategies, we may witness a gradual transition of TikTok as an entertainment app to an eCommerce app.
Monetization has always been a problem for small video apps like TikTok. It is difficult to make money off of the mid-roll ads or other promotional stuff due to the short length of these videos. It may be due to these reasons that TikTok is finding different ways to benefit from the brand promotion options and generate revenue for not only themselves but income streams for the top creators too.
Monetization has been a success in a Chinese version of TikTok app called "Douyin." Their eCommerce integration in the app has been a success in generating revenue and may have inspired TikTok to do the same. This Chinese app reportedly generated a revenue of over $122 million last year which is twice as much TikTok made.
TikTok is testing out new eCommerce tools and influencer marketplace in hopes of providing more revenue generation options to the creators. TikTok is setting out its own ads featuring its own creators so that it can get more audience. However, inserting ads may not be enough to build up a stable revenue generation stream through eCommerce or UGC.
The situation for TikTok is very challenging at the moment. It may take a while for them to establish an effective system for revenue generation. However, the longer it takes, the more chances of its creators to drift off from the platform to different platforms like Facebook or Youtube to make money right from the getgo.
YouTube's already stable revenue generation stream can prove to be a problem for TikTok as Youtube is looking to make its own TikTok variant.
If TikTok can manage to perfect its eCommerce and enhanced promotional opportunities for brand partners, its transition to the next phase may prove beneficial for TikTok to make a name for itself in the eCommerce industry