Dubai, UAE – March 03, 2021– In a new study commissioned in partnership with Nielsen, TikTok has looked closely at its community’s perception while using the app, especially in context of how users engaged with the content on the platform. Over 4,000 users were surveyed across four markets for the study, including the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Turkey. The study was crucial to assess whether users embraced the authenticity of brands on TikTok, and if businesses had a conducive environment to connect with their target audience and be part of the culture creation happening on TikTok when they engage as members of the TikTok community.

TikTok has been built as a platform to inspire creativity, authenticity and inclusion through a unique format of short-form mobile video content. Over the years, we have seen the most innovative and authentic storytelling emerge on TikTok, making it the platform of choice for users to explore untapped talents and discover new interests. With the introduction of TikTok For Business METAP, businesses have also seen a huge opportunity on the platform to increase brand awareness in an exciting and engaging way.

Central to the TikTok experience is the power of authenticity. Brands see the value in being their true selves, as they realize consumers connect not only to what a brand stands for but how it makes them feel. The potential to connect and collaborate with the rapidly growing and diverse community on TikTok is further driven by brands exploring the unique opportunities the platform provides, and discovering how best to create a positive experience on the platform for themselves and their followers.

At the same time, the safety of TikTok’s users continues to be a top priority, with the goal to help everyone feel comfortable and safe to create and share on TikTok. The platform’s Community Guidelines support the authentic and entertaining TikTok experience that people know and enjoy. They define a common code of conduct and encourage a welcoming community environment. 

Shant Oknayan, General Manager of Global Business Solutions MENAT said, “We have always worked towards building TikTok as a platform that houses fun, creative and engaging content and over time, we have seen that brands that have the most success on TikTok are the ones who have embraced the creativity and authenticity of the TikTok community. The Nielsen study further validates that TikTok has become the preferred medium for creative expression among today’s mobile-savvy users. The high acceptance of brands on the platform by users and the potential TikTok offers brands to explore creativity and diverse formats of content is a winning combination for businesses who are looking to reach a wide audience in the region”.

The following are the key takeaways from the report:

The power of joyful content

TikTok emerged as one the top three apps favored by more than half of its users in the MENAT region. TikTok’s mission to spark joy and inspire creativity has been successfully embraced by its users.

  • 8 in 10 people  stated that they found content on TikTok to be unique compared to other social media platforms, with TikTok content scoring high as entertaining (64%), fun (59%) and joyful (49%).
  • TikTok was also the only platform strongly associated with feelings of bravery (75%) and freedom (76%), thus being perceived by respondents as a platform more authentic than others.

 Authenticity is a key pillar for marketing

The user experience on TikTok allowed for better user engagement on advertising. Many TikTok users perceive the platform to be ad-friendly and are more likely to share information about products and brands:

  • 54% of people find brands on TikTok credible and 53% trust the quality of the brands being advertised.
  • 8 out of 10 users found advertising on TikTok to be unique compared to other platforms and 59% felt that the ads blend seamlessly with the organic content.
  • In positive news for businesses, 71% of TikTok users did not mind ads from content creators as long as they were entertained.
  • 63% of users were open to brands and hearing about new products on TikTok.

The Nielsen study showcases a huge opportunity for brands to build on what they have already started on TikTok – being creative, joyful and real in their audience engagement. TikTok For Business is built on the values of creativity and authenticity that TikTok has come to be known for, and the study highlights the success of the platform in giving brands and marketers the ability to be creative storytellers and meaningfully engage with the TikTok community.