Tiktok To Fuel Billion-Dollar Shopping Mall With Your Data

With the help of its viral videos, the platform has demonstrated an uncanny ability to drive offline sales of everything from leggings to feta cheese containers.

Now TikTok is working to move offline purchases to its own platform, inventing new ways to track and target its users.

One of the most recent gambits involves TikTok targeting ads to users based on purchases they have yet to make.

The company claims it can predict whether you'll buy anything from mascara to a house based on data collected from TikTok and other sites.

“TikTok pioneered a new form of ‘viral commerce’ that we haven’t seen replicated on any other platform,” Insider Intelligence analyst Jasmine Enberg said

"It's a type of shopping behaviour fueled by a younger user base, and one whose purchasing habits are fueled by a fear of missing out on the latest cultural trend."

That fear of missing out (FOMO) is ultimately what causes products to fly off the shelves, both virtually and physically.

FOMO isn't enough to turn TikTok into a shopping destination, which may be why the platform is mimicking its American rivals.

After all, if TikTok can force you to buy new pants, what's to say it can't force you to buy car insurance?