With the development of technology and the rise of social media, more and more business models began to be born around media, one of which is platform business which refers to a business that use the media to provide a platform for buyers and sellers to trade. Interestingly, in TikTok, anyone can be a seller or a buyer, depending on their demand for the platform. A very obvious platform example is TikTok which is deeply loved by both young people and adults. Video creators can record their own videos and publish them on TikTok for getting more followers, on the contrary, ordinary users who do not create videos can just watch videos for interests and follow the video creators who they like. With the increasing number of users joining TikTok, the two most active versions, the Chinese version and the international version, have brought huge benefits to TikTok. These phenomena show that TikTok is one of the most successful business platforms which born form the media.
Introduction of Platform Business
With the progress of the times, many products of techniques and technology were born. At the same time, the spiritual and material needs of users also increased, then the platform business was born. Do not want to drive or walk, you have Uber which gives you a driver; do not want to buy raw food to cook, you have Deliveroo which send hot food to your home; do not want to shopping outside, you have Amazon which makes users shopping online and send it to home. All business platforms are based on service users to provide them with a more convenient life. On the other hand, there was no suitable job before, and now there are more options, Uber driver or courier. The platform business not only serves users, but also creates more job opportunities. The emergence of this kind of company simply connects buyers and sellers, and plays a connecting role in the whole business model (Zach Church, 2017).
Significance of Platform Business
Any product has its birth significance, and so is the business platform. One obvious example of business platform is Deliveroo which is a food delivery platform. Restaurants can receive the user’s order and make food, then deliver food to users’ hand through nearby couriers. When an order ends, buyer gets his food which he wants to eat; restaurants get the money from buyers; the courier was also paid. There is no doubt that the emergence of business platform not only facilitates people’s life, but also provides more employment opportunities, such as meal delivery. According to the data provided by Mansoor Iqbal (2021), Deliveroo has accumulated 6 million users and provided it with 1.2 billion euros of revenue. This further proves the user’s needs for the platform business and the importance of the existence of platform business. As Anastasios Papadopoulos (2019) mentioned that due to the rise of digital media and digital techniques, more and more people begin to accept this kind of business model, and more and more companies begin to expand their business into the media, and finally become a large business system.
What is TikTok
TikTok is one of the most popular social apps which allows users to publish and watch a shot video by using their phone. According to the data from Mansoor Iqbal (2021), TikTok was first born in September 2016 and its name is Douyin in China, after only one year, users of Douyin accumulated to 100million. Then, in September 2017, Douyin officially entered the international market and was named TikTok. At the beginning, TikTok was just an app for publishing videos based on interest, video publishers can publish videos at will and add tags below, users who are interested in this tag will see these kinds of videos. After this, TikTok will know what kind of video these users like to watch, finally, users can basically see two kinds of video, one is the most popular videos, another is the video what they like. However, after several updates, advertisement, shopping and live streaming were added, the complete TikTok came to the surface. It gives users a platform to sell and buy things at will and a live streaming platform. The data shows that TikTok has nearly 1 billion users monthly and 1.9 billion euros of revenue in 2020 (Mansoor Iqbal, 2021). This platform business with strongly integrity will be loved by users especially teenagers. As Brandon Doyle (2021) mentioned that the older the users, the smaller the using proportion. There are even 60% of users who are between the ages 16 to 24 in the US users. This is undoubtedly a new way of entertainment for young people.
How Does TikTok Make Money
As Lydia Kibet (2021) mentioned that TikTok’s revenue mainly comes from two sources: advertising revenue and in-app purchase. Like Youtube, brands can pay TikTok to insert their own ads between multiple shot videos to promote their products because of the huge number of users of TikTok. Brands can also pay more for the advertising position of first video when opening TikTok. With the increase of users, more and more brands pay for advertising positions on TikTok. In addition, TikTok allows users to pay money in the app, such as buy products from brands streaming or buy gifts for the streamer who users like, crazy fans will even invest a lot amount of money in a live show to buy gifts for their viewers. At present, this digital profit means is very popular, because users do not feel like taking out paper money. Only the jump of numbers will reduce the concept of users of money.
However, the growth process of TikTok was not smooth but encountered some obstacles. According to Joe & Sophia (2020), India banned TikTok on June 2020 because of “ TikTok has damaged India’s sovereignty, national integrity and public security order.” After about two months, former US President Donald Trump also threatened to kick TikTok out of the US market because of “TikTok will harm the interests of the country.” The actions of these two countries are not small losses for TikTok, but fortunately, the result did not bring huge losses to TikTok. It is undeniable that as long as the internet is involved, there will be the circulation of data, and the confidentiality agreement of data will become a security risk. If the hidden dangers of data loss or leakage can be avoided, the overall advantages of the emergence of platform business outweigh the disadvantages.
In conclusion, as a member of the business platform which born of the development of technology and active media, TikTok meets the needs of most people for online and social media. With the progress of the digital times, platform business will become more and more popular and the users who use platform business will increase. Not only TikTok and Deliveroo, but also Facebook, Instgram, Uber and other platform business will get more attention from users even countries. Overall, this kind of business model in line with the needs of the times will make the live of users more convenient, and can enrich the needs of the country at the same time such as providing more job opportunities.
Anastasios Papadopoulos (March 8, 2019) The Power of Platform Businesses: How to Enable Value Creation.
Brandon Doyle (September 27, 2021) Detailed TikTok Statistics https://wallaroomedia.com/blog/social-media/tiktok-statistics/
Joe Tidy & Sophia Smith Galer (August 5, 2020) TikTok: The story of a social media giant https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-53640724
Lydia Kibet (April 23, 2021) How does TikTok Make Money? https://www.gobankingrates.com/money/business/how-does-tiktok-make-money/
Mansoor Iqbal (August 30, 2021) Deliveroo Revenue and Usage Statistics (2021) https://www.businessofapps.com/data/deliveroo-statistics/
Mansoor Iqbal (September 28, 2021) TikTok Revenue and Usage Statistics (2021) https://www.businessofapps.com/data/tik-tok-statistics/
Zach Church (June 16, 2017) Platform strategy, explained.