- Social video app TikTok is collaborating with Yandex, which is known as "Russia's Google" for its range of online services, on advertising sales, according to Ad Age. The deal will let Yandex's advertisers reach TikTok users in Russia through the Yandex Advertising Network (YAN), the company's ad-serving platform, per a Yandex blog post.
- The video ads will appear in the curated feeds of TikTok users in a format Yandex adapted for the social platform. Advertisers can upload pictures and text that will automatically be turned into video ads with an audio track and interactive elements, such as tappable heart icons to indicate likes.
- The ads also will be adapted in a mobile format and targeted at specific groups of TikTok users. Advertisers can segment users by search interests, demographic characteristics, geography and other parameters, per Yandex.
TikTok's collaboration with Yandex gives marketers a way to reach Russian consumers on TikTok, which last month was the third-most downloaded app in the nation, according to App Annie data. TikTok reaches 800 million people worldwide, including 30 million users in the U.S., Ad Age reported, but it's unclear how large its audience is in Russia.
TikTok's recent download statistics have yet to show up in surveys of most popular social media platforms, but Russia is a ripe market for growth. Almost half (49%) of Russian consumers use social media, or 70 million people, per Hootsuite data cited by Yandex in March. That audience includes 57.8 million people who access social networks through mobile devices.
The most popular social platform in Russia is YouTube, which is used by 85% of internet users, followed by Russian social site VKontakte (83%), Facebook-owned messaging app WhatsApp (59%), social network Odnoklassniki (55%) and Rakuten-owned messaging app Viber (46%), HootSuite found.
Yandex's partnership with TikTok indicates that the social video app, which is owned by Chinese tech giant ByteDance, is opening its platform to third parties for ad sales to help expand its revenue base. TikTok last week debuted the first software tools that integrate its platform with other apps. The software development kit shows how TikTok is taking greater aim at rivals, including Facebook and Snapchat, that have similarly looked to build robust developer communities around their platforms.
Yandex was founded in 2000, giving the company a long history as an online advertising platform that could help TikTok to establish a foothold in Russia. Yandex's revenue surged 38% to 45 billion rubles ($704.9 million) in Q3 from a year earlier, including a 6% gain for YAN to 6.3 billion rubles, per a quarterly earnings report. By partnering with Yandex, TikTok stands to tap into that growth.