While TikTok continues to argue for its survival amid various challenges related to its Chinese roots, the platform is also looking to new, innovative event options to boost awareness and usage, and further ingratiate the app with its US audience.
This week, TikTok has announced an upcoming digital concert event with US rapper The Weeknd, which promises an 'immersive virtual experience' linked back to the artists' latest album.
As explained by TikTok:
"In partnership with XO, Republic Records, and Wave, we’re bringing you The Weeknd Experience, the very first virtual experience of one of the biggest albums of 2020 in After Hours. Through TikTok’s first-of-its-kind virtual musical experience, you’ll be captivated and suspended in space while The Weeknd invites you into the awesome madness of his world, as seen through his own eyes."
The event will bring TikTok users together for a shared experience, utilizing various elements of the platform to construct an immersive presentation format, which can hopefully at least somewhat replicate the experience of a real-life event, which is obviously not an option at the moment.
TikTok hasn't released a lot of details on how, exactly, the virtual concert will work, though it sounds similar in approach to Fortnite's recent virtual concert with rapper Travis Scott, which 12.3 million players logged on to experience.
The Weeknd's event will likely look to incorporate similar elements, though in a different format, given that you don't have a virtual avatar in the TikTok digital world, as players do on Fortnite. TikTok has, however, said that viewers will be able to interact with The Weeknd as he performs.
It's an interesting approach, and as noted, Fortnite has already shown that digital events like this can work, and can be hugely popular, particularly within the current, COVID-19 impacted environment. Indeed, various music festivals organized within Minecraft have seen huge demand, and while TikTok, again, doesn't offer the same immersive environment as an online game, it'll be interesting to see how it looks to incorporate various elements to build a bigger presence for the event.
In addition to the concert itself, The Weeknd Experience will also raise funds for The Equal Justice Initiative, with TikTok matching funds raised "up to a generous amount".
"The Equal Justice Initiative is committed to ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, to challenging racial and economic injustice, and to protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society. Fans can donate directly from the TikTok app."
TikTok says that the event will incorporate hashtag challenges, creative effects and more.
It could definitely be something to keep an eye on, not only as a vehicle to boost TikTok usage, and get fans of The Weeknd across to the app. But also as a showcase of creative tools and options on the platform, which could help to inform your own approach, if indeed you're looking to market on TikTok.