TikTok goes big in Thailand

TikTok,  the world’s top short-vdo social media platform, has launched an ambitious “TikTok for All” initiative in Thailand to unlock a new potential for local content creators, businesses and communities.


With about 325 million users and 15 million businesses in Southeast Asia, of which Thailand is the second largest economy after Indonesia, there are vast opportunities for Thai content creators to tap to drive growth of the creative economy. In Thailand alone, the number of content creators is estimated to be around 3 million who earn an income on TikTok while there are about 2.4 million sellers, of which 99 per cent are locals, according to TikTok executives.


The country’s creative economy is to be worth Bt1.1 trillion, accounting for 6.81 per cent of GDP, based on 2021 statistics while the number of people engaged in the creative sector rose to nearly 1 million in 2022.


According to Chanida Klaipan, head of public policy, Thailand, TikTok’s strategy is to drive growth via three pillars: smart economy, smart people and smart environment to create positive impacts across the board by empowering everyone to share their creativity and inspire others to join the initiatives.


First, TikTok aims to partner with Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) for digital literacy online curriculums for Thai youths, while working with the Community Development Department on Otop digital skill training with a target to increase the  number of participating small Otop businesses to 1,000 nationwide from about 532.


Pisut Rojlertjanya, head of operation, said the Thai creative economy will be driven by a comprehensi e ecosystem supported by TikTok in which content creation, discovery, enjoyment will occur safely witgh real-world opportunities. According to Pisut, TikTok has evolved beyond a mere entertainment platform, becoming a catalyst for life-changing moments for creators so TikTok will further increase support for partners and publishers in both public and private sectors to raise the quality of contents via collaboration with world-class creators.


For example, the Creator House by TikTok, the first of its kind in Southeast Asia , was opened at Bangkok’s Siam Paragon in September last year.


According to Pisut, TikTok also works with BMA on waste segregation, public safety, gender, disability and other initiatives involving real world creators, suggesting that the platform is like a massive canvas for creativity, while also serving as a limitless window self-expression. In other words, TikTok has evolved into a shopper-tainment platform linking brands, creators, and consumers via joyful, authentic and inspirational short-vdo clips.


However, TikTok also plans to promote one-minute-plus clips in the first quarter of this year as they have gained popularity among users.


Regarding TikTok shops, Kornnikar Niwatsaiwong, head of FMCG nd E-commerce, said they are a one-stop seamless ecosystem where users can go from discovery to action a matter of seconds. “We have established an infinity loop of shopping experiences, guiding users to consideration, purchase, review and rediscovery,” she said, adding that the ecosystem now supports more than 2.4 million sellers in Thailand with features such as user reviews, product rating, user refunds, affiliate ranking and product pool.


Other global and regional platforms such as Facebook, Shopee, and Lazada have also expanded their footprint in Thailand with new features due to the increasing popularity of live-streaming and vdo shopping.


According to TikTok, the so-called shopper-tainment 2.0 will be further driven by the creativity at scale, benefitting consumer products, F&B, automotive, finance, and retail sectors, while the platform’s effectiveness can be measured accurately.

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