DUBAI: TikTok has published its annual “What’s Next” report, highlighting the key trends it expects in the year ahead, based on data from Saudi Arabia and the UAE, among other countries.
The report is a deep dive into the ways in which it expects consumers’ wants and needs to change and how brands can tap into the shifting trends to help them succeed on the platform.
According to the report, 67 percent of users engage with TikTok during platform-focused sessions, such as when they take a break or are winding down at the end of the day. Based on this, and other global data, TikTok predicts three key trends will shape the platform in 2023: actionable entertainment, making space for joy, and community-built ideals.
“TikTok-first entertainment will inspire people to test out new products and ways of thinking and behaving,” according to the report.
Audiences are weary of misleading thumbnails, and videos that start with the instruction “wait till the end,” it continues, which means that marketers will need to produce videos that immediately grab attention while also earning trust. Attention depends on entertainment value, while trust boils down to who is telling the brand’s story.
Among users who who said they had taken action off-platform as a result of a TikTok video they watched, 72 percent said they had sought reviews from creators they trust on TikTok, more than on any other platform.
The second trend TikTok predicts focuses on prioritization of happiness among users. The pandemic forced people to reevaluate their priorities regarding work, hobbies and relationships, and many realized they were burned out.
Among users who took an off-platform action as a result of a TikTok video, 72 percent said they obtained reviews from creators they trust on TikTok, more than on any other platform.
Half of TikTok users said the platform boosts their mood and makes them feel happy and/or positive.
41 percent said that “lifting their spirits” is key to motivating them to make a purchase.
TikTok is 1.8 times more likely than any other platform to introduce people to new topics they did not even know they would like.
What this means for marketers is that they should include humor in their stories, the report advises. Audio trends in particular can help tap into what users find funny and provide a little levity in their lives.
Globally, joy is a growing factor in purchase decisions, according to the report; 50 percent of TikTok users said the platform boosts their mood and makes them feel happy and/or positive, and 41 percent said that “lifting their spirits” plays a key role in motivating them to make a purchase.
The third trend, community-built ideals, is not only about users’ aspirations but also about connecting with people who understand them and inspire them to change things for themselves, according to the report. TikTok communities, which are both specific and relatable, help users bond with each other over their interests and priorities, it said.
The platform, which describes itself as a “collection of hyper-personal spaces” rather than a “town hall meeting,” said it is 1.8 times more likely than any other platform to introduce users to new topics and ideas they were not even aware they might like. As people discover these things that are new to them, they look to their peers and role models on TikTok who are already living them for information and advice, it added.
TikTok trends can help facilitate this kind of connection and exploration, as users often turn to the platform when they have specific questions about subjects such as cooking or parenting, for example.
The platform advises marketers to “lean into the specificity that makes TikTok communities special” and thereby help audiences feel “more understood and validated.” Once marketers understand the various groups, they can work with creators within each group to amplify their message.
Shadi Kandil, TikTok’s general manager of global business solutions, Middle East, Africa, Turkey and Pakistan, said: “Now in its third year, TikTok’s What’s Next Report has provided actionable insights for marketers both globally and here in the region, to amplify their voices and create impactful content leading to real-world business results.
“From making the time for joy and tapping into niche communities, to actionable entertainment that captures attention, 2023 looks to be an exciting year for brands on TikTok.”