How do you react when, a week before an app is officially released in the UAE, your eight-year-old asks you if she can download it?
The app's called TikTok. I believe my reaction was something on the lines of: "How do you download candy?" confusing it with a confectionery brand. She rolled her eyes, unlocked her phone, and thrust the App Store in front of my face. For those wondering, it is a social media app for creating and sharing short-format videos. And for those still wondering whether I allowed, of course I said no (the minimum age for using the app is 13).
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I did, however, explore further and realised that the app had had a meteoric rise in 2018, and is currently rated No. 2 in the US and No. 3 in the world. But it isn't just TikTok - most short-video format apps are becoming hugely popular among brands who are using them for influencer marketing campaigns or to publish their own videos. Every major social media platform - Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter - has invested in the short video format platform, which is further giving wings to influencers.
In fact, influencer marketing is projected to grow from a $2-billion market in 2017 to $10 billion in 2020. Brands are increasingly using influencers as their ambassadors and banking on them to make their products popular with the target audience with a fair degree of success. And it isn't that the big fish in the pond - the Kim Kardashians, the Kylie Jenners and the Huda Kattans of the world - will take the lion's share of the business. Brands are increasingly cosying up to the micro influencer and even the nano influencer - someone with a few thousand followers within a defined niche. They don't break the bank, and you can cut your losses fairly quickly and effectively if something goes wrong. Either way, influencer marketing is here to stay. They seem to have the right tools in the right hands.
By Vicky Kapur
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Al Bawaba Business or its affiliates.
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