With Dance Challenges and Explainer Videos, Publishers Invade TikTok to Court Gen Z
New York (CNN Business) – TikTok, the short-form video app popular among Gen Z and best known for its viral dance challenges, is the No. 1 entertainment app on Apple's App Store. But publishers have seized on it for a different reason: They're posting explainers and fact-checks pegged to the news. Sometimes they're dancing too — all in the name of courting the next generation of news consumers.
"We wanted to be a part of the dance trends and the feel good moments and build up an audience and then start to insert the news more often," Alex Ptachick, USA Today's audience editor of emerging platforms, told CNN Business. "That does not mean we're going to stop also having fun and being funny."
TikTok, which rebranded from Musical.ly in August 2018, has piqued the interest of several media companies looking to appeal to the app's young and engaged audience. NBC News, ESPN, iHeartRadio and The Dodo began experimenting with TikTok in early 2019. The Washington Post launched its account in May. NowThis joined in December.