TikTok launches Profile Kit to add up to six videos to other sites, first integrating LinkTree • TechCrunch

A big part of TikTok’s growth story is due to its viral hooks: engaging videos with thousands or millions of views on TikTok are watched and shared thousands or millions of times elsewhere, crumbs that eventually lead people back to the gingerbread house. Now, as TikTok works to expand its advertising business and bring more users to its app as part of that, it’s leaning into that third-party experience with the launch of a new feature called Profile Kit, which gives creators the ability to to appear in six videos on another site. The feature appears to be tailored to creator homepages, which these days often take the form of link-in-bio landing pages where creators aggregate links to all of their social media feeds. Sure enough, Profile Kit comes with a link-in-bio platform, namely Linktree.

The Profile Kit will be on the TikTok developer portal, where TikTok also provides tools for creating TikTok-based connections, creating automatic video imports, building TikTok-based apps, integrating experiences via APIs, and more. The addition of Profile Kit speaks to the bigger picture for TikTok here: it’s leveraging its growth and buzz to expand its wider ecosystem and visibility across the wider web, beyond its walled garden, and step up the game of on the platform.

Notably, the Profile Kit isn’t being announced at a developer event, but as part of TikTok World, the company’s brand and entertainment partners, where it’s announcing ad-related updates like a new focused view on ads, where brands only pay if a user watched an ad for at least 6 seconds or interacted within the first 6 seconds (which says something about how quickly people move away from ads given the opportunity).

TikTok still lags behind big companies like Instagram in MAUs, but its growth rate, at this rate, is set to change that, with the app regularly ranking at the top for downloads worldwide. In terms of money, the app currently holds the title of the highest grossing app since Q3, and these new ad intrusions will further boost it. All of this has made TikTok the app whose video experience all other social media platforms have tried to copy. Of course, that’s not to say that TikTok isn’t making its own moves to copy others at the same time: as any TikTok influencer will tell you, you’ve got to keep rocking.

And that’s why working with Linktree here is interesting. The Australian-born app has been an unlikely but quietly huge success in the world of social networking tools, filling a gap in a fragmented market by giving creators a way to combine different social network profile pages and activities into one landing page, shared through a “link-in-bio” on these different pages.

These days there are many alternatives for managing this landing page: others include Carrd, Bio.fm, Beacons, Later, Koji, etc. etc. $1.3 billion valuation landed earlier this year on the back of a $110 million funding round. Regardless, it’s looking for more ways to differentiate itself and give creators more reasons to use it (and the paid tiers) than its rivals. Hence the exclusive nature of this deal today.

Meanwhile, investors weren’t the only ones watching Linktree. TikTok made it the first ‘link in bio’ company to allow to appear on its users’ profile pages when it started testing it in 2019. Today, it’s one of the most popular ‘Linked In’ platforms out there, appearing on 30 million profiles and already has 5 million daily TikTok views. Now the idea will be to make that relationship and connection a bit more formal and user-friendly, giving Tiktok a significant boost to the audience even when people don’t migrate to TikTok itself.

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