TikTok preparing to open an Australian office

Mariam Cheik-Hussein
By Mariam Cheik-Hussein | 13 August 2019

Video-sharing app TikTok is about to open its first Australian office as it gains traction among users and brands, according to industry sources.

The Chinese-owned company is said to be in the process of establishing a dedicated local team, most likely in Sydney, and is expected to be operational by the end of the year.

TikTok currently has more than 10 offices globally, including Los Angeles, New York, London, Berlin, Dubai and Jakarta.

The decision to open an Australian office highlights the importance of the Australian market to TikTok, which has been rolling out "challenges", such as the #Cricketmania challenge for the ICC Cricket World Cup, to drive up its user base locally.

TikTok representatives did not respond to a request for comment.

TikTok had previously told AdNews that Australia is a key market for the company.

“We will be exploring opportunities to establish a stronger presence in the market as our business continues to grow,” a TikTok spokesperson said at the time.

Interest from brands in the app has been ramping up recently, with hundreds of users queuing up to meet TikTokers at a store opening for fashion label Superdry. The store used three TikTokers, including Ricky Chainz who has 3.3 million followers.

Talent agency Born Bred recently created a roster dedicated to TikTokers after increasing demand for influencers on video-sharing app.

“We’ve had an increase in requests for branded partnership and branded opportunity with TikTok of about 30% over the last four weeks,” Clare Winterbourn, Born Bred founder, says.

“They (TikTokers) are creating really high-quality and engaging content because they have a minute to tell a narrative story. So what they're producing is quite incredible.”

Brands are also starting to create their own TikTok accounts, such as Superdry and ESPN, as well as publishers such as Pacific’s BeautyCREW and Girlfriend.

Currently, TikToker’s main source of revenue comes from TikTok Lives, when a user live-streams themselves and asks for “gifts” from other users, usually in exchange for shout-outs. It’s estimated that TikTokers in Australia can make anywhere from $500-$5,000 by going live.

The other revenue stream is through brand partnerships which can fetch the TikTokers around $500 per post. However, as the platform matures this has been increasing.

“Brand partnerships have risen hugely,” Winterbourn says. “Now we’re doing a lot of product placement, organic partnerships, and clothing hauls, which were really big on Instagram.

“I see brand partnerships amping up to be very similar to what we're processing through with Instagram.”

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