TikTok’s parent company ByteDance is recruiting researchers in fields like computational biology, quantum chemistry, and physics, Forbes reported. Job listings posted to LinkedIn are recruiting for positions in New York, California, and Washington, largely for roles studying artificial intelligence, in an apparent bid to challenge giants like Google. The Chinese company is also making pushes to rapidly expand its e-commerce business to potentially rival Amazon.
TikTok wants to be a one-stop shop, but its users still buy things from Amazon
Social media giant TikTok is reportedly hoping to grow its U.S. e-commerce presence by as much as $17.5 billion, Bloomberg reported. The push would see the video sharing app rivaling Amazon, China-based ecommerce site Temu, and Shein. However, ByteDance faces a bit of an uphill battle in actually convincing users to stay on the app to make their purchases. Many users who are influenced to buy a product they see on TikTok tend to go elsewhere to shop — usually to Amazon, according to Bloomberg. “TikTok is a fundamental shift in how we purchase things and it’s going to bring a tidal wave of sales,” one e-commerce executive said.
TikTok’s entertainment-meets-ecommerce appeal attracts influencers to sell directly on the app
Influencers-turned-entrepreneurs see the appeal of selling their merchandise directly through the app. Grace Mary Williams, a toy and candy reviewer with more than two million followers, told Digiday that she preferred selling her products through TikTok because of the ease of getting them in front of her viewers. The app gave her the creative freedom to promote her products the way she wanted, Williams said, and was “super appealing rather than going to a different platform.” She can also advertise in-app using viral hashtags. “That crossover of having the entertainment and the e-commerce is genius because everybody already trusts TikTok to be entertaining,” she said.
TikTok could see profits rise by charging a higher sellers’ fee
TikTok grew its e-commerce business in the U.S. by offering low sellers’ fees and generous discounts, but the company is now set to take a bigger cut of sales and also reduce subsidies for merchants, the Information reported. TikTok Shop will reportedly quadruple its sellers’ fees from 2% to 8% The hike in fees is still mostly lower that those imposed by Amazon, keeping TikTok fairly competitive.