Trending December 2023 # Review: Griffin’s Watchstand Is A Tall, Cheap Way To Dual # Suggested January 2024 # Top 19 Popular

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I respect any accessory developer who attempts to solve a legitimate problem, and admire developers who find smart ways to solve multiple problems simultaneously. Unlike many competing Apple Watch stands, Griffin Technology’s new WatchStand ($30 via Amazon) thinks past the initial challenge of mounting your watch, and also includes a place for your iPhone to rest on your nightstand. As you’ll see in my guide to the best Apple Watch stands and docks, it’s hard to find a decent-looking combination Watch and iPhone stand at a lower price.

As that low price suggests, however, WatchStand makes compromises in both materials and functionality. Built primarily from plastic with a rubber core, it’s certain not to scratch a stainless steel or gold Apple Watch. But would you actually want to use it with one of Apple’s more expensive timepieces? That’s another question…

Key Details:

4.2″ square by 7″ tall stand holds an Apple Watch 6″ up, plus any iPhone resting on its side

You self-supply the Apple Watch Magnetic Charging Cable (and iPhone-ready Lightning Cable)

Substantially plastic parts with a rubber cord-managing core

Slightly tricky one-time assembly

Affordable by dock standards

WatchStand arrives as a set of five mostly plastic parts: a heavily weighted black glossy plastic base that looks like a flattened Apple TV with a hole in the center, a matching glossy pipe, a rubber cable-managing core for the pipe, a glossy cap for the core, and an optional semi-circular rubber insert. As with all Apple Watch stands released to date, you need to self-supply one of Apple’s official Apple Watch Magnetic Charging Cables yourself. WatchStand thoughtfully accommodates either 1-meter or 2-meter cable lengths, as well as the all-plastic Sport and partially metal regular Magnetic Charging pucks.

Installation is fairly simple: stick the Magnetic Charging Cable’s USB plug through the center of the rubber core, wind the cable around spiraling grooves on the core, leave enough cable loose to connect the plug to a self-supplied wall charger, and stick the core into the hard plastic pipe to hide the cable. The glossy plastic cap should passively snap into place inside the pipe as they come together, and the pipe then attaches to the base, without permanently locking together. If you’re using the Apple Watch Sport’s plastic charging puck, Griffin’s optional semi-circular insert won’t be necessary, but Apple’s thinner metal pucks require the insert so that they’ll stick out enough from WatchStand to make a completely secure magnetic connection with a Watch.

The only challenges WatchStand presented during installation were modest, namely getting the cord to stick firmly enough in the grooves not to bunch up when I installed the outer pipe, bringing the glossy plastic cap as close as possible to the pipe, and picking the right cord length for connection to a charger. For most users, these will be one-time issues, and quickly resolved. Although the glossy Watch-holding pipe won’t detach from the base during normal use with your Watch, you can easily separate them to adjust the cable or charging puck during initial setup.

The bigger question is whether WatchStand’s design and functionality will appeal to your personal needs and sensibilities. Unlike many of WatchStand’s rivals, any Apple Watch with a closed loop-style band will need to be mounted and charged on its side, which is a bit unusual; open bands can instead dangle behind and in front of the 30-degree-angled top surface, a more natural mounting position. On the other hand, Griffin offers greater cable management and versatility than with some other stands: four large rubber feet on WatchStand’s bottom have gaps between them to let you place the USB cable in whatever direction you prefer, which can be handy when dealing with shorter 1-meter cables or substantially wound 2-meter cables.

WatchStand’s height and footprint may be polarizing for some people. Several readers opined that Mophie’s Watch Dock, which I reviewed yesterday, elevated the Apple Watch too much — and that was only 3.5 inches up. By comparison, the much larger 4.2″ square by 7″ tall WatchStand lifts the Apple Watch 6 full inches above your nightstand, a height that users could either find ideal or way too tall. The height appears to have been picked to provide ample room for any iPhone to lay on its side below. I’ve personally never wanted to leave my iPhone in this position, but Griffin places a secure lip on the edge to prevent it from slipping off, and you can self-supply a Lightning cable for charging. From my perspective, a side-by-side and more integrated iPhone/Apple Watch docking and charging solution would make more sense, but for $30 or less, this is the sort of solution you can expect.

In the final analysis, the strongest feature of Griffin’s WatchStand is its aggressive pricing. It’s nearly as affordable as Spigen’s simple metal S330 stand, and a lot less expensive than most of the other combination iPhone/Apple Watch docking solutions. Because of its tall, plastic frame and passive approach to holding the iPhone, it will be a better fit for budget-conscious users than design obsessives, but it earns a little bonus credit for trying to kill two birds with one stone, and mostly succeeding.

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Leagoo T5 Review: Dual Camera With… A Twist!

Leagoo T5 is one of their most interesting – and worth buying- models, that offers quite adequate performance, running on Android 7.0 Nougat, along with a mediocre MT6750T chipset, 4GB of RAM and a dual camera setup on its back. It’s available at a really affordable price – when compared to its specs- and can easily become one of those models that belong into the competitive market. Let’s take a close look at its features and functions.

Leagoo T5 – Technical specifications

● Network: 2G: GSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz – 3G: WCDMA 850/900/2100MHz – 4G: FDD-LTE 800/850/900/1800/2100/2600MHz TDD-LTE B40

Leagoo T5 review: Design and general appearance

Leagoo has ditched the plastic casing and has given a chance to the CNC and NANO metal body, providing the device with 7.9mm of thickness, 15.30 x 7.61 x 0.79 cm dimensions and 160 gr. weight. On the front it has a front camera and a home button, on the back side, it has dual rear camera, LED flash light, very simple design, but superior quality.

The colors of the display may be rather saturated, but the images are crisp, with good viewing angles and a fully responsive panel if I may add. All in all a decent display – especially for a smartphone on this price range.

Just below the display you will also find a fingerprint sensor which proves to be rather fast. It can unlock the phone in less than 0.1 second with almost 97% success rate. It can basically store up to 5 different fingerprints and can recognize them all from 360 degrees, something that’s a standard nowadays.

Hardware & Performance

When it comes to hardware, the Leagoo T5 has adequate specs for its price. It comes with a relatively old MTK6750T Octa Core (1.5GHz) processor, along with 4GB RAM and 64GB of internal storage, expandable via microSD card up to 256GB. The available RAM is plenty enough for you to run all your day to day apps very smoothly, and the gaming performance is decent if you play games like Asphalt 8 on medium graphics. Still, you should expect some skipped frames but no significant lag.

It offers a rather decent user experience with good multi-tasking, enabling users to keep several applications open in the background with no significant impact on its everyday performance. To confirm our deductions, do have a look at the benchmark results of the device as they appear above, showing the Leagoo T5 scoring 41615 points in AnTuTu.

I didn’t have any issues with GPS related apps, as the phone was connected to more than 12-13 of the available satellites every time. It could be connected to more I guess, in order to offer even better results when scanning for our location. In any case it still offered great global positioning services, no complains at all.

I guess you already know it, but I will say it one more time. The Leagoo T5 is a 4G/LTE smartphone with acceptable performance when it comes to LTE networks, achieving average data speeds of 45-55Mbps that surely offer a decent feeling when you use it, along with great performance in everyday use. It has good GSM/WCDMA/LTE signal reception with flawless handovers and no dropped calls – during my tests that is.

Gizchina News of the week Leagoo T5 review: Android software and UI performance

The Leagoo T5 runs on Android 7.0 Nougat but we have no official confirmation on when (and if) the company plans to upgrade it to Android 7.1.2 or (one can hope) Android O. In any case, the Android 7.0 gives you more control on the smartphone and also lets you customize the phone just like any other Nougat based smartphone.

There is no bloatware or other unnecessary apps inside, it supports all the classic Nougat features but the UI has been tampered a bit by Leagoo. There’s themes support with certain pre installed themes waiting for us when we first boot up, along with some few widgets for the weather, time etc.

All in all this extra customization doesn’t seem to affect the performance of the device. Don’t forget it has 4GB of RAM, which is more than enough and offers decent everyday use for a novice Android user, as long as you don’t choose to put any extra pressure on it with severe multi-tasking, more than 6-7 apps opened simultaneously etc. It’s not a phone for the demanding power users, you’ve been warned.

Dual camera/Selfie camera performance

I guess we all know by now that the Leagoo T5 comes with dual cameras on its rear which are 13.0MP and 5.0MP in resolution, with dual flashes too and on the front, there is a 13.0 MP selfie camera, a treat for selfie lovers. For the dual camera fans, note that one camera sensor is used for creating the bokeh effect and the other will capture the image with quite impressive portrait photos, but average performance in low light conditions.


The OV 13MP sensor technology is the main reason why the camera turns the most lifeless things into jovial ones. A special soft light for the selfies is provided in the front camera of the phone. The soft light would help to have the brighter picture with the more defined look. You can shoot photos at 77.9 wide angles, and the 1.12um pixel size of the main sensor can result in good photos given its price tag. There is an extra instant beauty mode that would remove away all possible glitches from your selfies and turn them into highly beautiful ones. The selfie fans will surely love it.

Both cameras have independent vision processing unit, which enables background blurring in real time. It also allows you to choose where to focus (touch focus/autofucus) and where to blur, with the ability to adjust the intensity of blurring, too.

It’s quite easy to capture decent photos in daylight conditions, panoramic images with a helpful assistant that shows the way to do it correctly and the same goes for video capture. However when the sun goes down problems appear, such as low ISO, increased digital noise in photos and reduced framerate in videos.

All of the above however are typical for this type of phones, and the final verdict is that using the Leagoo T5 you will be able to capture decent photos in daylight conditions but not that impressive photos during low light conditions.

Battery consumption

The Leagoo T5 is equipped with a relatively average 3000mAh battery but numbers don’t mean anything in this case. The device comes with an energy efficient processor and -in general- it performs well providing a full day’s usage with no problems and perhaps a bit more if you are able to be gentle with it.

All in all we have a winner here, a mid-range smartphone with decent standby times if you’re an average user (6 hours of active screen) but the fact that it doesn’t support some type of quick charging is a bit disappointing. On the other hand it costs just 129,99$ so I guess it’s something we can live without ?

Conclusion – So what about it?

Decent performance, impressive quality built

I really enjoyed this small beauty from Leagoo. It’s not featured as the super wow dual camera phone that everyone should buy, no. It’s an average dual camera phone, with good photos in daylight conditions, adequate photos in low light conditions and… below average videos. It offers however excellent battery consumption, good performance for the average Android user and quite impressive build quality.

I loved the display, some of its usability features, its battery performance and of course the price tag, especially when compared to its basic specs. If you’re in the market for an affordable 4GB RAM/64GB ROM, dual camera smartphone with impressive display and great build quality then the Leagoo T5 should definitely be among your top choices.

The Leagoo T5 is currently available with a price tag of 129,99$. 

Review: Amara Is A Web

Producing video subtitles is a laborious process. First you must transcribe the original video, writing down everything that’s said, proofread and correct then, synchronize the subtitles with the audio so they appear on-screen right when the lines are being delivered. Finally, you translate the text into other languages. Amara is a platform that tries to crowd-source all of this work, making it possible for you to set up a system where droves of volunteers help you produce video subtitles for free, without having to download or install anything. It’s not entirely successful, but it’s an interesting first step in the right direction.

Before you can translate a video, you must first transcribe it. You can select any video for transcription – you don’t have to own the content: it just has to be available online. Simply provide Amara with a video’s URL on YouTube, Vimeo, or another online video service, and it launches into the transcription interface. You don’t have to open an account before you begin–you can just start working.

The first step in the transcription process is just writing down what the people in the video say without worrying too much about typos and capitalization. Amara’s transcription interface is simple and intuitive. By default, it plays four seconds of video, then automatically pauses. You then type what you’ve just heard, and hit Tab to play four more seconds. If you miss anything, you can hit Shift-Tab to rewind four seconds and listen again. If you don’t like to constantly hit Tab and Shift-Tab, Amara can also auto-pause the video for you. In this mode, you simply listen to the video and type as you listen, with Amara pausing it automatically to let you catch up. The way this works isn’t clearly explained (Amara calls it “magical”), but it works remarkably well: The video paused and played right when I needed it to, and I had to hit Shift-Tab to rewind only rarely. Even with the excellent auto-pausing engine, transcription is still a laborious process, though. I touch-type quickly, but transcribing a four-minute video took me about twenty minutes of intense concentration.

The “magical autopause” mode pauses the video cleverly to let you catch up on your typing, and works very well for touch-typists.

The directions also say you don’t have to worry if you get the timing slightly wrong, as you’ll be able to correct it later. Accordingly, I didn’t worry much – but when I got to the final step, reviewing and correcting the subtitles, I discovered things aren’t so simple to correct. I wasn’t always able to extend or contract the subtitles along the timelines so they synced correctly, and the whole process quickly got out of hand. The end result I got reflects Amara’s strengths and weaknesses: The video was fully transcribed, but the synchronization was only so-so. Another issue was that some of the subtitles were too long: Amara doesn’t offer an easy way to shift text from the end of one subtitle to the beginning of the next (except for manually copy-pasting), so if you happen to break things down into too large chunks when transcribing, you’ll have a problem later on.

Once a source-language transcription is ready, Amara lets you (or others) translate it into your language of choice while watching the video for reference.

Once you’ve got a timed transcription of a video, you can now translate it into different languages. Translation is simpler than transcription: Just type the translated text under each subtitle. Of course, how good the end product is depends both on the transcription’s quality and on the translator, but the interface itself is easy to use. Also, to enjoy the subtitles, viewers would usually have to use Amara’s player.

Amara is an interesting product, but after using it, I remain unconvinced that video subtitles can truly be crowd-sourced, if “crowd-sourcing” implies casual, untrained work. Producing a high-quality subtitled translation is a complex process, with each step requiring its own expertise. Still, if you want to dabble with subtitling or translation, or if you have a video and volunteer or professional translators dedicated to putting out a professional-quality result, Amara is a powerful platform worth experimenting with.

Note: The Download button on the Product Information page takes you to the vendor’s site, where you can use the latest version of this Web-based software.

Dual Boot Vs. Virtual Machine: Which One Is Better?

Software developers, testers, and those of us who evaluate and document software applications often need multiple environments.

We might need to test applications on different versions of Windows, macOS, and even Linux. Due to budget constraints, though, we can’t often have another computer available for each environment.

Two options let you work in separate environments without purchasing separate machines.

The first is to set up your computer with dual-boot capability. This allows you to set up multiple operating systems on one device and choose which one you’ll use when it boots up.

The second is to use a virtual machine, also known as VM. Virtual machines are kind of like running a computer within a computer. They actually run in a window on your device and can have the full functionality of the computer and operating system you want to use.

Why Do We Need Multiple Operating Systems?

So, why do developers, testers, and others need multiple systems? Why can’t we just use whatever we have available to us?

It’s vital for software to run smoothly across platforms. It’ll make the product available to more users, not just the users of one type of system or environment. In the end, that means more customers—and more money.

Because of this, developers, testers, and evaluators need to have multiple operating systems available to them. It ensures they can design, develop, and test the software in each type of environment.

A developer may do the majority of his or her work on a Windows OS. However, he or she might then need to make sure it works on macOS. Testers and evaluators will also try the application on both systems to see how it performs on each.

Aside from software development, some people just like to use more than one type of system. They may prefer certain features of Windows but also desire other features of macOS or even Linux. In this case, a person can have access to all of them without multiple computers.

You might also have software that only works on one platform but enjoy using another for all your other tasks. Finally, you might need different versions of one operating system, such as Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 10.

Which One is Better?

Two methods can be used to boot multiple operating systems on a single machine. You can set up your computer to have dual (or multiple) boot capability, or you can also use a virtual machine to emulate another operating system. So, which one is better?

The answer depends on your needs and preferences. Let’s look at the benefits and issues of both methods.

Dual Boot: Pros & Cons

When it comes to dual boot, here’s what we mean: completely separate operating systems on different partitions of your hard drive, other hard drives, or removable media. Once the system starts up one OS, the computer and its hardware are wholly dedicated to it.

This works well if you have a computer without a lot of memory or processing power. It means all of the computer’s resources are dedicated to just the environment you boot up in. You can still have decent to great performance with each OS installed.

Another problem is that you will not have the ability to work in both systems simultaneously. While this may not be a problem for the casual user, it may make it difficult to compare and record results as a developer or tester.

Virtual Machine: Pros & Cons

Using a VM is like running a computer in a window within your computer. Virtual machines are powerful and give you many options.

You can be working in your host machine’s OS while another virtual machine is running separately in a window on your desktop. This makes it easy to switch back and forth to test or perform any functions you need.

You can also run more than one virtual machine, but it may require a powerful computer to do so. Virtual machines can also be created quickly; if you’re no longer using them, it’s easy to delete them.

If you have a specific configuration you need to test with, you can create a base machine, then clone it whenever you need a new one. Once the VM gets cluttered or corrupted, you destroy it and clone another one.

Working with virtual machines does not require rebooting your device. Instead, you run a hypervisor, which runs the VM and instructs it to start the OS you wish to use.

Since VMs use and share the host machine’s resources, they can be slow and even on occasion freeze up—especially when trying to run more than one at a time. They may also slow down the host machine itself. For these reasons, VMs do require a good deal of management and administration.

The Verdict

As you can see, which one is better depends on how you will be using multiple platforms and what type of hardware you have to run them on. I recommend using virtual machines for anyone who has a computer system with good to excellent disk space, memory, and processing power.

If you have a less capable machine, dual boot can work beautifully. The downside is that you can’t switch between operating systems or use them simultaneously. You will have the luxury of devoting your computer’s full processing power to each OS.

If you feel that virtual machines will work best for your needs but don’t have a lot of processing power available, you can use VMs hosted on remote servers or in the cloud.

Companies like Microsoft and Amazon have paid services that allow you to create and use multiple VMs that they host. It can be nice when another company is responsible for maintaining the host machines and hardware. It can be a load off your mind, freeing you to create and use VMs as you need them.

Final Words

Deciding between dual boot and virtual machines can be a difficult decision. Both methods are great ways to access multiple operating systems and environments without the need for separate computers.

We hope that this article has given you some insight and the knowledge you need to help you decide which one will work best for you.

There Is No Single Way To Do Seo – Here’s Why

Understanding that no two SEO campaigns are the same is a challenge in getting wider business buy-in to the project.

One example that sticks out in my mind is working with a global travel company who was comparing their website and infrastructure with that of BBC News.

“The BBC doesn’t do it that way,” was a common phrase thrown into the mix.

Having worked with a number of organizations, ranging in size from sole traders to IPO SaaS companies, one thing is apparent.

While SEO best practices may be a consistent benchmark to aim for, no two successful SEO strategies are the same – even if two websites are in the same vertical.

When we look at “ranking factors” or things to move the needle in favor of our client’s websites, there are a large number of factors that need to be taken into account including:

The tech stack your website is running.

The lead time from a development request being made to deployment on production.

How much investment has been made/has been planned into brand building and general PR.

How much resource is available to produce content (internally and externally).

The level of competition for the target topics and search phrases.

The end goal of users on the website (product sale, lead generation, article view).

All of these factors are dependent on the business and the business model.

And, unless you have inside information, it’s highly unlikely that you can answer the same points for your competitors as you can for yourself.

This is why there is a lot of debate within the SEO industry about pretty much anything to do with SEO.

A prime example being the ongoing debate around just how valuable inbound links are in terms of the wider mix. In some verticals and for some websites, they’re a lot more important than others.

This is because as SEO professionals, we’re all exposed to varying levels of challenge.

Industry ‘Ranking Factors’

In the past, Searchmetrics has produced a ranking factor study looking at “universal ranking factors”, as well as weighting them by industry – to show the differences between them.

Comparing the Travel Industry and the Finance Industry from the study, top factors that correlated with higher performance within organic search were:

Page word count is higher.

Number of bullets user per list.

Number of internal links.

Number of images used.

In comparison to the top correlating factors in the Finance Industry being:

Content relevance and core topic.

File size and page load time.

The number of AdSense/AdLinks (less is more).

URL length.

So does this mean that internal linking structures aren’t important in the Finance Industry and shouldn’t be a key part of your SEO strategy?

No, it doesn’t.

While studies like this are great, they only cover quantifiable elements that can be easily measured across a large sample of websites.

They don’t take into account more objective and subjective factors, such as brand and offline presence.

These do however show the different approach taking in each vertical, and this is majorly influenced by business model and product type.

You’d expect a travel website to contain a large number of images and contain lots of guides talking about destinations with persuasive copy.

Whereas from a financial website or bank, you’d expect non-verbose copy that’s straight to the point with the information the user needs.

Some Things Are Universal

Correlating factors aside, some elements of organic search (within Google) are universal and should really be seen as basics across all websites, with strategy then being overlaid on top. These are:

Site Speed

Important for SEO and site usability. Not so much a problem today, given the increased spotlight that Google gave site speed in previous years, making it a staple part of the SEO auditing process.

The majority of websites also now run behind CDNs that allow for things such as JS/CSS and HTML compression.

Given the focus of site speed in general marketing articles, more website owners who may not be as technically savvy are more aware of its importance – and the same can also be said of HTTPS.

JavaScript Rendering

If you run a JavaScript website, it needs to either use dynamic rendering or server-side rendering.

It’s also important to consider the differences between the HTML response and the rendered response, and have a non-JS fallback solution in place if possible as this can affect:

Website crawlability.

New URL discovery.

New URL indexing.

Machine Learning & the Web Corpus

Whenever I’m talking about comparing two or more websites, I refer back to a Moz Whiteboard Friday from 2023. It looks at how Google may (or may not) interpret and evaluate the value of your content in comparison to the wider web corpus.

Although the video and transcript don’t directly mention machine learning and Google’s artificial intelligence, Rand Fishkin did talk about how Google assesses the web corpus and takes learnings from it – using the example of granola bars.

This is were approaches and strategies between competing websites tend to overlap.

In the example, when Google is assessing the quality of a page talking about granola bars, it’s looking at the web corpus for information and typically, you’d find pages containing nutritional value tables and lists of ingredients and allergens.

From this, they would see keywords such as [calories], [fats], [sugars], and then differentiating keywords such as [organic] and [vegan].

Applying this to another vertical such as travel, a page targeting [italy tours] may also talk about [rome coliseum], [milan], [venice], or [pompeii].

If Google finds 100 websites with a page targeting [italy tours], and 87 of the 100 contain a group of related topics and keywords and 13 don’t, machine learning (and logic) will go with the more consistent corpus.

This is also when you break away from just looking at single pages in silo, and start looking at:

The main content/supporting content elements across the domain.

Internal linking that creates little microsites of user value around a topic with content addressing multiple user intents (i.e., commercial pages, evergreen guides, and the blog).

Because Google is aware of what the web corpus is saying, you need to be in line with this and then develop the strategy to go one better – not just mirror what Google already sees as being rank worthy.

Optimizing for Your Business Model

It’s important that you use the right strategies for your business model and target user base – taking into consideration your competitive space.

While some technical elements of SEO are universal, it’s not possible to blindly imitate strategies between websites and expect the same results.

This is why it’s difficult to forecast the impact of specific SEO tasks.

Due to the sheer number of variables (internal and external), no two websites are “the same”.

Saying that a website is “similar” is not enough.

More Resources:

Image Credits

All screenshots taken by author, August 2023

Tiktok Launches Branded Mission, A New Way To Crowdsource Creative

On a day when most of Madison Avenue was focused on the TV Upfronts, TikTok launched Branded Mission this morning. It’s an innovative (and subversive) way for brands to crowdsource authentic (and creative) content from the TikTok community.

Branded Mission empowers creators to engage directly with brands to create (and monetize) their content for marketing campaigns.

In turn, it eliminates the need to go through one of the thousands of agencies and firms that have popped up to offer influencer marketing services.

Talk about cutting out the middleman! So, what’s the likely impact of TikTok’s digital disintermediation?

Well, as is often the case, the devil is in the details.

Details Of TikTok’s Branded Mission

TikTok has more than 1 billion monthly active users worldwide. TikTok took the top spot for most downloaded app in the first three months of 2023, beating Instagram and Facebook.

For digital marketers, Branded Mission enables brands to invite creators to contribute to a campaign – if they can create content that resonates both with their brand and their communities on TikTok. For example, brands can:

Engage the community to participate in branded campaigns.

Let creators tell the most relatable brand story in an authentic way.

Discover a diverse ecosystem of creators who are the main drivers of culture on TikTok.

For creators, Branded Mission gives the broader creator ecosystem the opportunity to get selected by digital marketers to create branded content. For example,

All creators who are at least 18 years old with more than 1,000 followers will be eligible to participate in a Branded Mission, providing even more opportunities to make money on TikTok.

Creators whose videos are selected by the brand will gain boosted traffic. And Branded Mission now provides a one-two punch along with TikTok Pulse, the social video platform’s ad revenue share program, which was announced two weeks ago at IAB NewFronts.

Now, why do people watch TikTok videos?

Although many traditional marketers still think of it as a Gen Z platform for dance challenges, TikTok says people come to be inspired by a broad spectrum of diverse communities as well as to discover new brands, products, and ideas.

Creators who seem to have their finger on the pulse of the latest trends and appear to represent a new generation of storytellers are breaking boundaries of entertainment and defining culture.

So, if storytelling is actually what brings communities together on TikTok, then this has the potential to create a valuable opportunity for brands and creators to work together to create engaging content. TikTok thinks the participatory nature of the platform has created an entirely new way for brands to engage with creators and connect with diverse communities all around TikTok.

We’ll see if they’re right.

TikTok doesn’t have a CTV option, so they’ve doubled down on inspiring brand and creator collaborations. To get an idea of how they are positioning Branded Mission, watch the overview that they’ve uploaded to Vimeo.

According to TikTok:

In other words, it’s a new way for brands and creators to collaborate on creating branded content.

Now, this new matchmaking service has the potential to help brands discover emerging creators broadly across TikTok – if that’s what they’re interested in doing. Some brands will test the waters – and others will wait and see what happens. So, it’s difficult to predict whether Branded Mission will take off as quickly as TikTok itself has.

Discovering The Power And Creativity Of Co-Creation

Up to this week, the brands that have seen the most success on TikTok have been the ones that have taken the time to watch and listen to the TikTok community before engaging with specific creators.

Branded Mission has the potential to bring more brands closer to communities on TikTok if – and only if – they are willing to empower creators they haven’t already vetted to contribute to a campaign.

I expect challenger brands are the most likely ones to fit this profile. And I expect that most market leaders and niche brands will wait and see what happens next. I also expect a similar phenomenon will take place on the creator side of the matchmaking process.

The most likely creators to check out a challenger brand’s Branded Mission page to see if it represents an opportunity to monetize their next video will be nano-influencers (1,000 to 10,000 followers) or micro-influencers (10,000 to 100,000 followers). And I expect that most macro influencers (100,000 to 1 million followers) and mega or celebrity influencers (over 1 million followers) will wait and see what happens next.

This may make the early days of Branded Mission as awkward as a middle school dance. But, it may also produce some surprising results. Who knows, things could snowball quickly.

Branded Mission is currently in beta testing and only available to brands and marketers in a dozen markets around the world. But, TikTok expects Branded Mission will become available in additional markets starting in late 2023.

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