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TikTok partners to boost African creator economy

Sibahle Malinga
By Sibahle Malinga, ITWeb senior news journalist.
Johannesburg, 02 Nov 2020

Global video-sharing social networking platform TikTok is strengthening its African strategy, signing up local partners to enable it to grow its market share on the continent.

Launched in China in 2016 by Beijing-based company ByteDance, TikTok is seen as the fastest-growing social media app at the moment, with a presence in over 150 markets and in 75 languages.

The app recently signed its first African influencer platform partnership with Webfluential, a subscription-based platform that connects brands with consumers via social media platforms such as Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and blogs.

With the Johannesburg-based Webfluential already connected to 500 million fans and followers across Africa, the partnership with TikTok extends the potential for brands to tap into the 1.2 billion-strong African audience.

The Webfluential partnership comes a few months after TikTok partnered with local creative advertising agency M&C Saatchi Abel, to run its first brand campaign for SA, during the country’s initial stages of lockdown.

To date, the campaign has achieved millions of views, prompted an increase in downloads and received several creative circle awards in film and motion, and digital graphic design.

“TikTok enables creator-led brand engagement that is relatable and authentic, simple and entertaining, and allows brands to supercharge their audience engagement,” says Ryan Silberman, CEO of Webfluential.

“With access to influencers across eight different channels and a combined audience of over two billion people, the addition of TikTok as a Webfluential channel means that our customers and agencies will be able to work with top TikTok talent and boost the uniquely talented creator economy in Africa.”

The Webfluential partnership will see influencers leveraging TikTok’s mix of tools, creativity, short form video and popular music, to help brands become discoverable in new ways.

A brand is able to use Webfluential’s software-as-a-service platform to vet, book, engage and converse with influencers and deliver on a pre-agreed objective, with regards to content outputs via the platform.

Since making its debut in the South African social media scene in 2018, the uptake of TikTok has been described by ICT analysts as “astonishing”.

It has reached one billion downloads globally and has an estimated audience of over five million in SA.

The South African Social Media Landscape 2020 report compiled by World Wide Worx and Ornico highlights that TikTok is the country's second most downloaded social app on the Android Play Store, behind Facebook Lite.

In September, the social media platform partnered with investment fund The Gritti Fund, to launch the Pitch Up In The Sky competition, to provide South African entrepreneurs with financial support and help them develop entrepreneurship skills.

Participating local entrepreneurs compete for a $10 000 investment (approximately R164 000) and one-year mentorship from The Gritti Fund.