Creators on TikTok are receiving way more space to describe their content and optimize it for the platform’s search engine. Over the weekend, many users started to notice that the limit for descriptions has increased from just 300 characters to over 2,000 characters.

The increase doesn’t just give creators more space to explain their video or page. Longer descriptions will also make it easier for TikTok to understand the content better, better include it in search results, and make more informed recommendations for users.

When you consider the impact these descriptions will have across the platform, it becomes clear that content descriptions are becoming a powerful optimization signal for those wanting to stand out on the increasingly competitive app.

How We Learned About Expanded Video Descriptions

It is unclear exactly when the feature started rolling out, but social media analyst Matt Navarra called attention to it Friday with a screenshot of a notification he received in TikTok’s app.

The full message says:

“You can now type up to 2200 characters in your posts’ descriptions: This allows you to express more details about your creations, describing what your videos show, giving you the opportunity to get closer to your audience, generating more engagement while becoming more searchable and better recommended by TikTok to viewers.”

TikTok is Becoming a Search Engine

If you haven’t spent much time on TikTok, it may come as a bit of a shock to learn that young people are increasingly using the platform as an alternative to Google’s search engine.

The phenomenon is so widespread, that Google has publicly addressed the shift, with Senior Vice President Prabhakar Raghavan stating:

“In our studies, something like almost 40% of young people, when they’re looking for a place for lunch, they don’t go to Google Maps or Search. They go to TikTok or Instagram.”

The longer descriptions signify that TikTok is also fully aware of this phenomenon and is prioritizing ways to improve its search results. For example, creators now have more flexibility to describe what happens in a video, include keywords that will help their videos be found by the right people, and provide links to a professional website or other social accounts.

Plus, longer video descriptions will even improve your TikTok content’s chance of being found on Google since the search engine has confirmed it indexes TikTok videos.

Brands across the US are increasing how much they spend on search advertising, with the overall US search ad spend predicted to reach almost $112 billion by next year. That is nearly double the amount spent in 2019, according to the new report from Insider Intelligence.

US Search Ad Spend 2019-2026 graph

This year, the data says $99 billion is being spent on search advertising. Much of this is driven by Google, which receives about 56% of the total ad spend. Google is in fact driving much of the growth in this area, outpacing all other traditional formats. 

While Microsoft remains the second-leading search ad platform, the data indicates that other platforms like Apple and Amazon may eventually overtake it. 

Data shows that Apple Search Ads will receive $5 billion dollars alone in 2022 revenue thanks to new ad and placement options which allow brands to find less competitive ad space.

Meanwhile, Amazon is gaining ground as the best platform for bottom-of-funnel customers. 

Interestingly, the report indicates that TikTok is also a growing force in search ad spending. The new data shows that up to 40% of 18- to 24-year-olds in the US already prefer to use TikTok and Instagram for their searches instead of Google. This may explain why recent studies showed that brands spent 60% more on overall advertising on the platform. 

Mobile Vs. Desktop

Unsurprisingly, mobile search advertising spend is far outpacing desktop by about two-thirds and shows no sign of slowing down. 

One indication of this is the fact that more than half of the U.S. population was reported to have used a smartphone to make an online search in 2016. By next year, that number should reach 70% by 2023. 

Privacy-Focused Platforms Lose Steam

After years of slow growth, privacy-first platforms like DuckDuckGo appear to be losing traction with US searchers. This is reflected in other recent reports, including data showing that DuckDuckGo had fallen to less than 100 million daily searches in June. 

For more findings about the current state of search advertising, download the full report from Insider Intelligence here.

TikTok continues to gain more interest from brands – especially ecommerce brands – as it proves that the social app is here to stay. New data collected from over 5,000 stores shows that ecommerce brands spent 60% more to advertise on TikTok in Q2 of 2022. Even more, analysts believe the trend will continue for the foreseeable future.

This information comes from Triple Whale ecommerce analytics, which gathered the data from all the stores using their tools to estimate the overall growth of ecommerce ad spend on the increasingly popular social video app.

“It’s time to get on TikTok while the needle’s still moving in the upward direction, or before users are completely inundated with ads from new brands,” advises Triple Whale. TikTok “is no longer a channel serious paid media buyers can avoid without cutting into revenue and profit.”

Other Findings About Ecommerce Q2 TikTok Ad Spend

Notably, the most significant increases don’t come from major brands. Smaller retailers with annual sales between $1 million and-$5 million are instead leading the charge.

Along with these findings, the report also included a few other interesting facts:

  • Overall ad spend across the 5,000 online retailers rose by 11% in Q2 to a total of $529.7 million
  • Retailers with revenues between $1 million and $5 million are contributing to the biggest increases in ad spend
  • In the first two quarters of this year, retailers spent a total of $48.4 million on TikTok ads – which was a 231% increase over the previous 6 months
  • CPMs vary by industry. Baby, books and collectibles niches have a CPM below $10, while health & beauty & digital products are over $14 CPM
  • Stores with over $25 million in sales have the highest average order values and ROI

How TikTok Compares To The Competition

While TikTok is showing impressive growth in popularity among online retailers, it still trails Facebook and Google by a significant amount. Specifically:

  • Despite only growing 5.6% from Q1, Facebook remains the leading ecommerce choice for advertisers by a wide margin
  • Google grew 20.5% in Q2
  • Snap declined 10.8% in Q2

If you’ve been writing off TikTok as just another social network that will be here today and gone tomorrow, it is likely time to reconsider. The platform seems to be cementing its place among users and winning over brands through increased ad revenue.

Twitter has revealed several long-awaited features this week, including new ways to filter the content on your timeline, the ability to limit who can see your tweets to a specific group, and even the ability to edit tweets.

Let’s explore what each feature does in detail and when you might see it in your feed below:

Topic-Focused Timelines

Twitter is publicly testing new timeline options for users which will gather content related to recent events or themes. 

Though the feature was previewed earlier this year, users finally saw the first example of one of these topic-focused timelines on August 24th around the airing of ABC’s “The Bachelorette”

While some are calling these “custom timelines”, these topic-focused timelines will be generated via Twitter’s content algorithms using a combination of search terms, usernames, topics, and manual curation. 

Twitter Circles

The social network is introducing a new way to limit who can see specific tweets.

Twitter Circles allow you to select a number of specific users who will be able to see specific tweets that other users cannot. 

The most obvious use of this feature will be letting public figures publish more casual or personal tweets to their close friends while still maintaining a professional appearance for most users. 

Additionally, brands might use Twitter Circles to give access to an exclusive group of up to 150 followers – potentially delivering exclusive promotions or product sneak peeks. 

Edit Published Tweets

After years of requests from users, Twitter has confirmed it is finally testing an edit feature that would let users change the contents of their tweets for up to 30 minutes after posting. 

The company announced the test via a tweet, though a since-published blog post provided more details about how the feature will work and who will have access.

As the blog post says:

“We’re hoping that, with the availability of Edit Tweet, tweeting will feel more approachable and less stressful,” Twitter said in the blog post. “You should be able to participate in the conversation in a way that makes sense to you, and we’ll keep working on ways that make it feel effortless to do just that.”

Once edited, tweets will also include a timestamp, icon, and label indicating it has been updated.

While the feature is hotly anticipated, users may be disappointed to hear that the edit button will be limited to paying Twitter Blue subscribers – at least initially. 

The company says its next stage of testing will give early access to subscribers so that Twitter can monitor how the edit feature is used by the public.