TikTok, a short-form video-sharing app with 2.6 billion downloads worldwide and over 1 billion active users, has now grown into a full-fledged video platform owing to its skyrocketing popularity.
TikTok recently launched its ‘Creator Next’ initiative, enabling creators to unlock TikTok’s monetization features such as brand partnerships and rewards based on content popularity. This means that more businesses and developers that cater to the creator economy will benefit from integrating TikTok with their product offering. However, connecting to the TikTok API to build products comes with a lot of challenges.
Read on to get a picture of the challenges involved in integrating with TikTok API and learn how you can overcome them.
The need for TikTok data for creator economy companies
A creator’s identity is confined in the social media platforms and expanding their influence beyond social media is arduous as they have no way to verify their identity outside the platform.
On the other hand, creators or businesses that work with creators need to analyze siloed data in each platform’s own UI for tracking performance reports. Hence developers building for the creator economy are looking for ways to quickly and easily gather creator data across various platforms from a unified solution.
The conventional way of getting a creator’s profile information and their identity verified is not sustainable as it generally involves multiple to-and-fro of screenshots, emails and phone calls. To not worry about identity verification and data authenticity, developers need to get access to these information directly from the source platform.
Ways to get TikTok data
To retrieve creator data on TikTok, developers can use one of the following three methods:
- Data Scraping
Many third-party agencies use data scrapers to extract a TikTok creator’s publicly available data such as the videos, comments, hashtags, etc. There are only a handful of third party aggregators in the market that scrape TikTok data and these services are far from perfect. Here is why:
- Since the platforms generally discourage scraping, the data collected can be unreliable and misleading.
- Data scraping offers only publicly visible data and not information that is only available to the users post login such as post impressions, which can be requisite to measure audience engagement and ROI.
- Audience demographic data cannot be obtained through data scraping. Hence audience profiles are approximations and vary between third-party providers for the same creator.
- The responsibility of verifying the creator account’s integrity falls on the hands of the influencer marketing platforms.
- Pseudo login
Few agencies also use pseudo logins to collect creator’s information. In this method, the consented creators are required to provide their user IDs and passwords for the agencies to create a secure login environment and take out the required data.
However, this requires manual intervention and storing data on scattered spreadsheets making this an unreliable solution.
- API integration
API integration is the most credible and secure way of getting creator data. By integrating via API, you get access to first-party data of consented creators, including post login/private data. Data attributes visible only to the creators from TikTok include:
- Impressions & Reach
- Content consumption metrics
- Direct content URLs that enables you to embed content onto your platforms easily
Challenges with direct integration with TikTok developer APIs
Even though API integration is the best possible method for data collection from TikTok, you may still face barriers when integrating directly using TikTok API:
- Adopting direct TikTok API Integration means you have to ensure you understand the exhaustive integration procedure, data management and integrity, security, standards of communication and governance. As can be seen on the TikTok for developers documentation, to get access to the TikTok Display API, you need to prepare the following stuff:
- A TikTok developer account
- Approval for both a Login Kit and open API products
- Granted user.info.basic and video.list scopes for your app
- A TikTok account with a few posted videos
After you equip yourself with the prerequisites mentioned above, you need to integrate with the TikTok login kit to authorize and get an access token to get started. And in order to go live with your app, your business and app functionality will need to undergo an extensive review submission process.
- Developers need to create separate integrations for the multitude of social media platforms from which they want to fetch data and each integration may come with its challenges that will quickly exacerbate the development team if it spirals out of control.
- TikTok does not provide audience demographic data through direct API integrations. Hence accessing essential information about a creator’s audience like their gender ratio, age distribution, and geographical locations can be impossible.
Seamlessly get creator-consented data via Phyllo TikTok API integration:
Phyllo is the simplest and most effective way to get creator data. Phyllo is an evolved productization of custom social media/creator platform integrations. Rather than developers building their integrations from scratch with a multitude of social media platforms such as YouTube, TikTok, Patreon, Spotify, and Instagrams, Phyllo offers a single easy-to-integrate API with multiple social media platforms. Once you have the integration set up, it is just a matter of calling the databases and sending the requested data.
Phyllo provides the following creator data:
- Audience demographics
Audience demographics data
Phyllo Connect: Granting Control To The Creators
Phyllo Connect SDK is designed in a way to help the creators up and running as easily as possible. In addition to ease of use, Phyllo also ensures the creator has complete control over their account and has provided their consent to connect their account with Phyllo. Hence while integrating the social media platforms via the Connect SDK, Phyllo educates the creator about the process involved and the data collected post a successful login. Phyllo specifies the type of data the app will be requesting from users and describes how the data will be used. The users are required to confirm the requisite permissions via an on-screen prompt, to help the creators trust Phyllo with their accounts and data.
Phyllo vs. Third Party Aggregators for TikTok Data
- Since Phyllo has direct integration with the source platform, you can tap into first-party credible and accurate data on performance, videos and audiences as provided by TikTok.
- Phyllo works in conjunction with source platforms and thus the data accessed is far more reliable to those derived from data scraping.
- Phyllo provides webhooks that help you with automated notifications and data updates, without the need to repeatedly request the data. This saves you a lot of processing and bandwidth which would go into polling for this data.
- Since TPAs manage millions of creators’ databases, the information may not be synced on a daily basis and there can be a delay in routing the information.
Features you can build using TikTok Data
There are several ways in which developers are using TikTok API to build amazing features in their products. Here are a few of them:
- Automated Verification: Using Phyllo’s connect flows, TikTok creators can authenticate their profile and verify their identity. It also ensures that the creator validation is required whenever any developer requests data access. Developers can then use our REST APIs to retrieve information about a creator's identity, income, and engagement on platforms such as Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, Twitch, OpenSea, Discord, Shopify, Substack, and more.
- Influencer Marketing: TikTok creators collaborate with brands for sponsorship opportunities. While working with creators, brands need to have the ability to see the creator profile, audience demographics, engagement metrics and more. Phyllo’s integration will help brands access real-time data about the campaign including reach and impact. Similarly, to connect with the right influencers, businesses need to verify that the account actually belongs to the trusted creator and not an impersonator. Phyllo’s Identity API provides creators’ profile-level information such as their followers, following, and other reputation metrics.
- Fintech: Creators on social media are rapidly moving from side hustlers to full-time dedicated content creators. Despite the ability to make a living from social media platforms, creators do struggle when trying to avail financial services such as credit cards, insurance and loans, due to the lack of a standard wage slip. The only proof of their work is the number of followers they have and the engagement level they receive for their posts. Ergo, to ensure that only the actual creator benefits from their services, verifying the creator identity is critical.
- Web3: Creators have begun tokenizing their work and issuing it as NFTs on web3 platforms. Fans know these creators on web2 platforms like TikTok. Hence verifying the NFT creators’ reputation is important to ensure the fans are connecting with their favorite artists and not with a fraudulent account. In addition, it also helps prove the NFT ownership to get access to NFT-based membership DAOs or promotions.
- Creator Tools: Creators use a number of creator tools such as Patreon, Beacons, etc to help power their engagement and earnings as a creator. Since these tools help creators run a subscription service or sell products directly to consumers, verifying the identity of the creator on these platforms is vital, for fans can be tricked or scammed by impersonators. Phyllo’s data pipe resolves this issue by providing the requisite identity verification.
What about Creator Data Compliance?
In recent days, the regulations around storing and managing data are increasing and becoming more complex. The data privacy laws like GDPR and CCPA, recognizes the data privacy rights of consumers and have put a massive focus on consented data. The California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 gives consumers more control over the personal information that businesses collect about them, which includes:
- The right to be informed on how the personal data is collected and processed;
- The right to erase personal information collected from them (with some exceptions);
- The right to object of the sale of their personal information; and
- The right to non-discrimination for exercising their CCPA rights.
The CCPA applies to many businesses, including social media platforms. To comply with these restrictions, social media platforms like TikTok have been expanding their legal compliance. So, any integration with TikTok also has to go through the same regulatory scrutiny.
Complying with the data privacy laws can be a daunting task since developers need to be informed about these regulatory compliances. Since Phyllo only provides creator-consented data and takes care of region and platform-specific restrictions, developers can stay focused on creating products on top of the available data.
Phyllo does all the heavy lifting for you by taking care of region and platform-specific restrictions so that developers can focus on what matters: creating world-class products with the available data.
Considering the sheer amount of content, user flow and levels of engagement on TikTok and its large user base, more businesses will begin to build awareness and consideration for their product via TikTok. Hence, the need to access real-time, quality creator data for developers and product teams will also increase proportionally.
Rather than spending hours on building your own connectors to multiple social media platforms from scratch, you can use Phyllo to feed data directly into your platform, as we simply take care of moving the data.
Book a call now with our team to see how your business can benefit from Phyllo.