Episode 33 of the Influencer Marketing Lab podcast where Chris Stokel-Walker talks about his new book: TikTok boom

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The Influencer Marketing Lab podcast is sponsored by Tagger the data-driven influencer marketing platform and social listening tool.

I was gifted an advanced copy PDF version of TikTok Boom: China’s Dynamite App and the Superpower Race for Social Media by its author - Chris Stokel-Walker.

Show notes

Welcome to episode 33 of the Influencer Marketing Lab - a weekly podcast tracking the growth spurts and growing pains of influencer marketing.

This week I'm in conversation with Chris Stokel-Walker, technology journalist and author of new book - of TikTok Boom: China’s Dynamite App and the Superpower Race for Social Media - which is published today.

Podcast episode highlights

In this episode we:

  • Compare TikTok's disruption of the social media space with that of Apple's disruption of the smartphone industry when it launched the iPhone back in 2007.
  • Talk algorithms pitting TikTok's ‘content graph’, against the industry-pervasive ‘social graph'
  • Consider TikTok as a music discovery channel
  • Talk TikTok and geopolitics 
  • Ask whether TikTok's headline sponsorship of this year's Vidcon signifies anything greater than just switching up lanyard colours for conference goers
  • I ask Chris if he still has a downer on influencer marketing



Chris Stokel-Walker seated Influencer Marketing Lab

Chris Stokel-Walker discusses his new book TikTok Boom

Extract quote by Chris Stokel-Walker talking about authenticity on TikTok

"TikTok, managed to capture the Zeitgeist and it is worth pointing out, we often think of TikTok as a more authentic platform, because of the speed of creation. 

They spent a lot of time making it very easy to produce videos that are pretty good quality. And the shortness of the videos means that you don't have to devote a lot of time to it, you don't have to think about how you're going to storyboard an entire video for 30 minutes.

But they do also have filters and I turn them on and my TikToks make my teeth look whiter. They make my skin look less blemished. And I think even if you're being more authentic as a personality on TikTok, you still do have that kind of smoothing of skin. And part of that is, again, its origins in China and their attitudes to face tuning everything.


Chris Stokel-Walker biography

Chris Stokel-Walker is a technology journalist who writes for The New York Times, The Guardian, The Economist, BBC and Wired. He is the author of YouTubers: How YouTube shook up TV and created a new generation of stars (Canbury Press, May 2019), and as of July 22 2021 TikTok Boom: China’s Dynamite App and the Superpower Race for Social Media (Canbury Press, July 2021).

Chris Stokel-Walker ponderful Influencer Marketing Lab

Chris Stokel-Walker talks about his new book TikTok Boom 

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Scott Guthrie is a professional adviser within the influencer marketing industry. He is an event speaker, university guest lecturer, media commentator on influencer marketing and active blogger. He works with brands, agencies and platforms to achieve meaningful results from influencer marketing. That tells you something about him but it's not giving you a lot of detail, is it? So, read more here.

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