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Kevin Mayer Predicts TikTok Will Outlast Other Social Media (Video)

TheGrill 2022: ”As great as TikTok is, it is much smaller than YouTube,“ the Candle Media co-CEO says

TikTok has blown up in ways no one has been able to imagine – even Kevin Mayer, who had a brief stint as the social media platform’s CEO in 2020. But when asked at TheGrill Wednesday about which social media brands he sees thriving and surviving 10 years from now, Mayer predicts TikTok stands to get even bigger, and that it could stand alongside YouTube as one that could still remain relevant for longer than some of the other titans of social media like Facebook or Instagram.

“In many ways, TikTok is a marketing tool for creators. That’s where they get big, and then they move people over to Instagram or YouTube, and that is probably something TikTok is going to want to revisit,” Mayer told TheWrap editor-in-chief Sharon Waxman. “I think it will definitely be here in 10 years.”

Mayer in a conversation about “The State of the Industry” at TheGrill said that for as pervasive and huge as TikTok has gotten, it still “pales in comparison” to YouTube and what it has been able to do for the creator economy. Both platforms are truly “social entertainment,” he explains, in which TikTok, like YouTube, doesn’t require any communication between friends in order to interact, and the platform’s algorithm relies on individual usage patterns rather than other user DNA.

But when Mayer was at TikTok, he strategized over how to keep creators on TikTok, offering up to $300 million to creators to use the platform. YouTube by comparison this year plans to give roughly $18 billion to creators, and it points to how TikTok itself could stand to grow.

“YouTube and TikTok are quite similar from that perspective, and it has changed the time spent with social media and has increased dramatically,” Mayer said. “YouTube doesn’t get its fair share of accolades. It is a massive service. As great as TikTok is, it is much smaller than YouTube.”

But despite how TikTok has emerged and pulled away eyeballs from TV and movies, Mayer is still optimistic about serious storytelling, arguing that the reasons people go to TikTok are not because of storytelling, specifically the type of content that the brands for his media company Candle Media specialize in.

“It’s not linear storytelling the way television is,” Mayer said. “It’s different. It does steal time away from Hollywood, away from our storytelling, but it is not storytelling in the way Hollywood thinks about it. So there’s still a huge lane for Hollywood to maintain relevance…that is not what TikTok does.”

Check out a snippet from Mayer’s conversation at TheGrill above.

About TheGrill

For over a decade, WrapPRO’s Grill event series has led the conversation on the convergence between entertainment, media and technology, bringing together newsmakers to debate the challenges and opportunities facing content in the digital age. Tailored to a C-suite and innovative, forward thinking attendees, the event delivers a unique series of curated discussions, industry panels and virtual networking activations that explore the ever-changing media landscape. For more information about TheGrill visit thegrill.thewrap.com

TheGrill 2022 sponsors include Loeb & Loeb, City National Bank, Gracenote, Warner Bros. Discovery, Gerber Kawasaki, Sony Pictures, Take-Two Interactive, SAG-AFTRA, New York Festivals, Samba TV and IMAX.