Not Just Lip-Synched Videos: TikTok Experiments with Recruiting and Ecommerce

Sam Blake

Sam primarily covers entertainment and media for dot.LA. Previously he was Marjorie Deane Fellow at The Economist, where he wrote for the business and finance sections of the print edition. He has also worked at the XPRIZE Foundation, U.S. Government Accountability Office, KCRW, and MLB Advanced Media (now Disney Streaming Services). He holds an MBA from UCLA Anderson, an MPP from UCLA Luskin and a BA in History from University of Michigan. Email him at samblake@dot.LA and find him on Twitter @hisamblake

Not Just Lip-Synched Videos: TikTok Experiments with Recruiting and Ecommerce

Beyond the models hawking makeup and teens lip-syncing the latest hits, TikTok offers a variety of videos that most would consider relatively helpful: cooking lessons, exercise recommendations and financial planning tips.

Now the Culver City-based social media behemoth is reportedly experimenting with two new features to extend its utility: job recruitment and ecommerce.


According to Axios, the user-generated short-form video app is running a pilot program to help people find jobs and employers find workers. A select number of companies are participating in the beta test. And Bloomberg reports that in Europe the company is working with retailers to test a feature that allows them to run a store in the app, including taking orders and interacting with customers.

The ecommerce experiment follows in the footsteps of TikTok's prior partnerships with Wal-Mart and Shopify. But whereas those took users outside of the app, the new feature will reportedly be housed entirely within TikTok.

As the world has grown increasingly accustomed to shopping online, ecommerce now represents a $5 trillion market. TikTok's Chinese counterparts Alibaba, Tencent and Pinduoduo have helped to grow the Middle Kingdom's ecommerce market to $1.7 trillion.

On the employment front, pilot participants can reportedly access the experimental feature through a separate interface on the app where they can post available jobs. Job hunters can apply by posting a quick video pitching themselves in lieu of dropping a resume.

Tips on interviewing and crafting a strong resume have already found a welcome audience on the platform. Although it is unclear when or if the new product will roll out more widely, it would likely be a welcome resource for a generation of young people facing steep competition in their job searches. To publicize the new service, TikTok will reportedly ask users to post their application videos on their account.

TikTok's expansion into utilities on top of its more familiar entertainment and social features is reminiscent of Snap's ongoing effort to build out the functionality of its Snap Map, meant to help local businesses lure customers.

TikTok did not reply to a request for comment.

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Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

When avatar startup Genies raised $150 million in April, the company released an unusual message to the public: “Farewell.”

The Marina del Rey-based unicorn, which makes cartoon-like avatars for celebrities and aims to “build an avatar for every single person on Earth,” didn’t go under. Rather, Genies announced it would stay quiet for a while to focus on building avatar-creation products.

Genies representatives told dot.LA that the firm is now seeking more creators to try its creation tools for 3D avatars, digital fashion items and virtual experiences. On Thursday, the startup launched a three-week program called DIY Collective, which will mentor and financially support up-and-coming creatives.

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Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

LA Tech Week—a weeklong showcase of the region’s growing startup ecosystem—is coming this August.

The seven-day series of events, from Aug. 15 through Aug. 21, is a chance for the Los Angeles startup community to network, share insights and pitch themselves to investors. It comes a year after hundreds of people gathered for a similar event that allowed the L.A. tech community—often in the shadow of Silicon Valley—to flex its muscles.

From fireside chats with prominent founders to a panel on aerospace, here are some highlights from the roughly 30 events happening during LA Tech Week, including one hosted by dot.LA.

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LA Tech ‘Moves’: HyperDraft Taps LegalZoom Exec

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is a reporter at dot.LA. Prior to that, she was an editorial fellow at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

LA Tech ‘Moves’: HyperDraft Taps LegalZoom Exec
Photo by James Opas | Modified by Joshua Letona

“Moves,” our roundup of job changes in L.A. tech, is presented by Interchange.LA, dot.LA's recruiting and career platform connecting Southern California's most exciting companies with top tech talent. Create a free Interchange.LA profile here—and if you're looking for ways to supercharge your recruiting efforts, find out more about Interchange.LA's white-glove recruiting service by emailing Sharmineh O’Farrill Lewis (sharmineh@dot.la). Please send job changes and personnel moves to moves@dot.la.

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