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‘Still test and learn’: TikTok’s European business expansion

Digiday 09 Oct 2019 04:01

TikTok is coming out of stealth mode in the U.K. following its arrival here 14 months ago. In that time, TikTok has used the time to turn its WeWork office in Holborn, London, into its hub for Europe where commercial execs for countries including Spain, Italy and Germany are based as part of a team that covers 150 people, per LinkedIn. From the London office, director of revenue and partnerships Inam Mahmood oversees the European markets for TikTok. But most of the ad revenue comes from the U.K., which alongside the U.S. is where the social network has tested and sold most of its ads to date.

Despite the investments, TikTok’s pitch is as fledgling as those junior execs who tend to sell it to agencies, according to the media buyers. Like other social networks, ads on TikTok appear in the main feed as short, vertical videos. Where the social network has tried to differentiate itself is through its sponsored Hashtag Challenges, which can include branded takeovers of TikTok, influencer outreach and TikTok content creation. While these challenges can go to generate billions of views, advertisers are asking whether being an early adopter will be a big enough benefit or if they should sit tight until TikTok becomes established.

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