ikTok is the new kid on the block of social media but has quickly been noticed by the popular kids like Instagram and Snapchat. And, with over 800 million users worldwide, it’s clear this new kid isn’t moving any time soon. Despite its skyrocketing popularity, TikTok hasn’t posed a significant threat to the other social media mainstays. But that’s about to change.

TikTok is about to give its competition a run for its money with an innovative augmented reality feature. This social AR feature not only adds to the user experience but also throws open the door to huge advertising possibilities. Currently, the biggest complaint TikTok influencers have is a limited way to monetize their social media presence on the platform. With the new social AR feature, both influencers and brands can capitalize on their exposure on TikTok.

So, what is this great new augmented reality feature? Well, the details are still hush-hush, but the idea is pretty clear. TikTok is going to elevate its Branded Effect to another dimension, literally. The Branded Effect lets users add 2D animated lenses to the videos they create, which are activated by face and hand movements. The new AR Brand Effect takes those 2D cartoons and turns them into 3D experiences. 

TikTok AR Advertising
Image: Wikimedia Commons

With AR Brand Effect, TikTok users can add advertisements with interactive visual effects. The ads will be clickable and become part of the viewer experience. With augmented reality technology, the ad will appear to be a part of the TikTok creator’s world. The creator could interact with the product, mascot, avatar, or whatever visual representation they come up with. Ads become part of the entertainment, as opposed to an annoying popup. 

No one knows for sure when the new AR Brand Effect will be available, or if it will even be called that come release day. But, we do know that TikTok always moves fast. It is believed that they will roll out the red carpet for their new social AR feature in the 3rd quarter of this year. 

Paul Kasamias from media agency Starcom told Digiday,

“[TikTok’s] ability to scale and move forward is frightening, really. If they get it right, they’re going to be a huge player in the next six months to a year.” 

Snapchat is most at risk from being pushed aside because TikTok has similar features and targets a similar audience. More so, Snapchat has limited viral potential, since snaps are limited to a user’s immediate circle. TikTok, on the other hand, has discoverability systems in place to make it much more supportive of viral exposure. Its use of hashtags and “For You” page grants it far more potential than Snapchat’s format.

Instagram has already launched social AR filters, though they have yet to merge it with advertising. Brands are also independently adding Web AR Filters to their marketing tool belts. Social AR ads is simply the next logical step. Augmented reality is clearly revolutionizing the advertising industry, and TikTok is ensuring its place as one of the pioneers. 

Jun 19, 2020
Insider Insights

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