Teens Leaving TikTok Because of (checks notes) “Life”

TikTok prepares a new photos app, as its users start leaving it behind.

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Teens Abandoning TikTok Because of (checks notes) “Life”

TikTok prepares a new photos app, as its users start leaving it behind.

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TIKTOK • Launching an Instagram Competitor App

In the growing lore of the Internet era, there’s a big section on copying — and chief villain in the canon, is usually Meta. Much of its success comes from lifting ideas from other apps.

Stories, being the best example — it was originally Snapchat’s, but when Snapchat’s founders turned down an acquisition offer from Mark Zuckerberg, Zuckerberg simply ordered his lieutenants to copy it.

The same thing happened with TikTok, less the acquisition offer. When TikTok started getting crazy-popular, Meta copied for vertical video format and built Reels into Instagram.

Now. a new book of lore is set to be written, with TikTok apparently poised to copy Instagram — and not just a couple of features… the whole app.

One software engineer has shown back-end code from the current TikTok app with references to a new and unannounced app called “TikTok Photos.”

The addition of a separate TikTok Photos app is not overly surprising, given that TikTok has already added a “photo mode” for still images in-stream, and has been encouraging users to post more photos of late.

It also makes sense in the context of Chinese app trends.

China’s own version of Instagram is the Tencent-backed Xiaohongshu, which has seen big success of late after incorporating eCommerce features.

Xiaohongshu generated more than $500 million in net income in 2023, far exceeding expectations for the platform, and now has more than 200 million active users in the nation.

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TIKTOK • Losing its Young Users to “Life”

So if TikTok is so darned popular, why is it spending its time working on another app — one that, given TikTok currently does photo posts, could even cannibalize its user base?

One big reason: TikTok is, for the first time, losing users in the U.S.

Until now, we’ve seen TikTok’s growth rate slow down, but it’s never been negative. New numbers show that its user base shrank in the last quarter of 2023. Only the former Twitter also lost users. Hell, even the aging Facebook grew faster than TikTok in Q4.

What is going on?

One interesting theory is that TikTok users are growing up and taking on new responsibilities that leave less time to watch videos.

When the app launched, it took the world by storm. Young kids and teenagers were especially drawn to the service's unique creator-friendly content and culture.

Let's say those users were about 13 when they first downloaded the app in 2016 and 2017. Now, these people are at least 20 years old. They have full-time jobs or are studying at college. For many, their parents no longer do their laundry, cook their meals, and ferry them to and from sports games, meetings, and other engagements.

For readers who have not yet experienced this, it's called "life." This stuff takes a lot of extra time, which leaves less for TikTok.

Analytics firm Data.ai says TikTok's average monthly users between the ages of 18 and 24 declined in the U.S. by nearly 9% from 2022 to 2023.

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GBP • Your Social Posts Might Be On Your GBP

Be careful what you post on your brand’s social media accounts — it could start showing up in places other than social media.

For a long time now, social posts have appeared in Google results. But now, social posts may start showing up on Google Business Profiles. Not everywhere, though; Google says only for some countries and only for some profiles — though that’s likely to expand.

It doesn’t appear as if there’s a way to disable this, other than to remove social media from your Google business profile entirely. And in some cases, Google might add your brand’s social profiles to your Business Profile automatically.

There are no measurement tools for this, so you won’t be able to tell how many views or clicks those social posts generate, though apparently this new section can be edited via the API.

OUTDOOR • Out-of-Home Spend Skyrockets

Advertising is booming, especially when it's out in the open.

According to recent data from Guideline, out-of-home advertising saw a whopping 27% jump in the last quarter of 2023 compared to the year before.

This growth isn't just a small bump; it's part of a larger trend that's seeing more national ads, which are growing at a rate of 50%, significantly outpacing local ads' growth of 24%.

Live events are stealing the show, with an eye-popping 181% increase in ad spending, making them the fastest-growing out-of-home media format.

But cinemas and street furniture, like bus stops and billboards, aren't far behind, with increases of 57% and 54%, respectively.

But it's not all rosy. The restaurant sector felt a pinch, with a 17% dip in ad spending, including a 20% drop among fast-food chains.

ADS • Will Apple TV+ Finally Cave?

Apple TV+ might soon be shaking things up by adding ads, if we read the tea leaves right.

The tech giant has brought on board Joseph Cady, a seasoned ad executive from NBCUniversal, hinting at a potential shift towards an ad-supported model. This move would make Apple TV+ the last of the major streaming platforms to embrace ads, a path already taken by Netflix, Disney+, and HBO Max among others.

At NBC, Cady managed partnerships with tech heavyweights like Amazon, Google, and TikTok, all of which of course positions him well for this new role.

Apple has been on a hiring spree, pulling in talent from NBC, DirecTV, Peacock, and other media entities.

Also, they’re reportedly planning to launch AI-powered ads platform soon, designed to optimize ad placements within the App Store.

This is currently in testing with a handful of brands.

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