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How TikTok is affecting businesses

Yahoo Finance's Kelsey Barberio joins Yahoo Finance Live to discuss TikTok trends and the business of the social media platform.

Video Transcript


JULIE HYMAN: Quick check on markets now because we are still seeing stocks in the red and, in fact, deepening their declines. Being led by energy stocks, as we talked about earlier the slump in oil today is definitely having an effect on those energy shares. Although, it's a broad-based decline. Last I checked, all of the groups in the S&P were down. Right now, the index is down 1 and 3/4%.

Turning now to TikTok. It's risen through the ranks over the last few years, moving on from just catchy dances and short-form skits to a place where rising businesses garner traction. And we want to chat all things TikTok now. Bring in Kelsey Barberio, Yahoo Finance Senior TikTok producer. She's making her "Yahoo Finance Live" debut--


JULIE HYMAN: --in what is going to be a weekly segment--

- I'm so excited.

JULIE HYMAN: --where we talk about what's happening on TikTok. We are excited, too. First of all, we wanted to sort of set the scene here and talk about why we are doing this. Why we're gonna be talking about this weekly. And one of the reasons that TikTok is increasingly important is because of how the interplay between TikTok and business, how TikTok is-- trends are affecting businesses. So talk to us about that.

KELSEY BARBERIO: TikTok is having the most major effect on businesses, especially small businesses. We're looking at makeup creators who can sell out a product in mere minutes. And so for some smaller businesses, that can be huge. That can be life-changing. And so we've seen stuff like that.

We've seen, you know, single moms who are able to completely provide for their families because of what TikTok has been able to do for them. And it's just been really remarkable. And I feel like it's happened since the start of the pandemic so that's been really neat, too.

BRAD SMITH: Absolutely. One of the major kind of movements in the competitive landscape-- because it's all about the screen wars, right? And they're competing for screen time. And that also means you've got to cozy up to the creators and the influencers as well.

We saw earlier this week, YouTube announced major changes to its YouTube Partner Program as well. Seemingly, to compete more with TikTok. And so, you know, is this really going to result in people moving away from TikTok, creators moving away from TikTok to go over to YouTube Shorts?

KELSEY BARBERIO: You know, I think that's their goal, obviously. I think they're giving away, what, 45% of their revenue? Is-- or their ad revenue is meant to be going towards creators, which is huge. I've talked to creators who are in the creator fund for TikTok. And they are not seeing numbers even close to that.

For a creator to make it on their own, what they're often finding is that they have to do some brand deals. Like, they have to work with different businesses if they want to actually make a living off of TikTok.

It's really not coming from the creator fund, despite what people may think. So I think that seeing something like YouTube Shorts do this, like that could be a big push. I know we're on YouTube Shorts for Yahoo Finance. So we're already in it. But I don't know if we're eligible to make any money. But maybe.

JULIE HYMAN: One of the other things that we're tracking on TikTok is not just what's going on with businesses, but also there's like-- I mean, I track Fintwit, which is like the financial world on Twitter. And I know there's something like that, that also occurs on TikTok. So what are we seeing trend-wise on TikTok this week? I guess, in finance and just elsewhere.

KELSEY BARBERIO: Right. So we've got obviously some finance trends. Finance, I think, is inherently a little bit less trendy, so to speak, for TikTok. But they've got-- have you seen the guy, he goes out and he's like, I'll give you $20 or I'll double it and give it to the next person. He goes out in like Washington Square Park in New York City. And people-- it's like a social experiment to see who's going to take the money. So we've got stuff like that that's kind of in the finance realm, I guess.

But outside of that, you know, we've got some exciting things. We've got a great dance-- you know, TikTok initially known for its dance videos. And so we've got Beyoncé's new song "Cuff It." That one's been a very popular dance at the moment. I never dance on TikTok. That's not my vibe. But I appreciate the people who do.

Outside of that, we've got-- there's a trend where girls ask their boyfriend to give a word to describe them. So like, you'd say, what color am I? Do you want-- you can do it for each other even. What color? What color is Julie? [LAUGHS]

JULIE HYMAN: This is why I'm not on TikTok.


KELSEY BARBERIO: And then they-- and they'll be like, you are burnt sienna. And they're like, no--

BRAD SMITH: Burnt sienna?

KELSEY BARBERIO: Yes, so something so random. And so they do these crazy trends like that. And then there was the corn guy-- the corn kid.


JULIE HYMAN: Yeah, we know about the corn kid.

BRAD SMITH: Yeah, we love him.

KELSEY BARBERIO: He is like, I think that trend is kind of died out at this point.

BRAD SMITH: Yeah, but run him his check. Give him all the money.

KELSEY BARBERIO: I know, I think he's probably got his college set up. So honestly for him, great. [LAUGHS]

BRAD SMITH: Kelsey, this has been really insightful. I'm looking forward to even more of these conversations because there is so much of that correlation between what's really driving business and what's the most social parts of kind of commerce that's really emitting through TikTok as well. Appreciate you joining us this morning.

KELSEY BARBERIO: Thank you so much.