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featured tiktok

TikTok Analytics is now available at quintly!

by Hubert Grzesiek on January 14, 2021

It’s true, you can analyze TikTok accounts with quintly. You can stop reading now 😀. 
I am thrilled to announce this feature, not only because it was one of the most requested data sources from both our customers and potential prospects, but also because it was one of the most challenging implementations for our product team.

TikTok has been in the news a lot in 2020, and now at the beginning of 2021, we can say for certain that this social network is here to stay! It's the Gen Z’s favourite platform, known for it’s crazy challenges, but more importantly, known to marketers and brands for untapped organic reach.

How did we get here?

We've spent the major part of 2020 improving our platform, adding new functionalities such as post tagging, improving our data sources, such as the recently released Twitter update, and of course... TikTok. For us, the challenge was figuring out how to track this ever-changing social network at scale and without any public API or support from TikTok. One more important ingredient was the legality of this endeavour, since we want to be sure that we are working in accordance to TikTok policies.

After many iterations, we are confident that the solution we are presenting is the right one in order to deliver a scalable feature to our customers. I have used a lot of big words in the couple last sentences, but still haven’t said how we achieved it. Please allow me to rectify that.

How has quintly tapped into TikTok?

I would like to repeat that, as of January 2021 (time we're publishing this article), TikTok does not offer any API solutions to 3rd party providers. In order to start tracking the data of any TikTok profile, we have followed the publicly accessible data that is also visible and indexable by search engines. Once you add a TikTok account to quintly, we will fetch all publicly accessible data about that profile and the newest 6 videos. There is no authentication required. Once the profile is added, we will start tracking the history of the account, which means that any new video and metrics attached to it, will be tracked and stored within our Data Layer. Since the initial import, all the historic data will be kept and updated with the new one via periodical imports (every 6 hours).


What do we measure?

Quite a lot, actually. Data on the profile level includes following and followers count, number of likes and videos. We can track the evolution of this data over time. Have a look at the example of the top 20 TikTok accounts below (don’t forget to click on the link to see the interactive version.)

Screenshot 2021-01-13 at 10.09.21

On the single post/video level, we can track basic information (thumbnail, link description, and hashtags), length, challenges, music attached to the video, performance numbers (views, likes, comments, and shares) and post tags. Check out the example of the videos table below. All of this data sits directly within our Data Layer and is being updated via our periodical imports. Being part of the Data Layer also means that it can be added to any dashboards and reports, tagged and filtered just like any other data source.

Please find the full breakdown of our metrics below, listing only the most important ones. For the full specification, please visit our API page.

Profile level

followers INTEGER Number of followers for this TikTok profile at the end of the current interval (e.g. a day, week, month).
followersChange INTEGER Change of the total number of followers for this TikTok profile.
likes INTEGER Number of likes for this TikTok profile at the end of the current interval (e.g. a day, week, month).
likesChange INTEGER Change of the total number of likes for this TikTok profile.
videos INTEGER Number of videos for this TikTok profile at the end of the current interval (e.g. a day, week, month).
videosChange INTEGER Change of the total number of videos for this TikTok profile.


Video Level

hashtags OBJECT The hashtags used in this post. Provided as a list of hashtags, e.g. ["#dating", "#comedy"].
challenges OBJECT The challenges linked in this post. Provided as a list of objects, e.g. [{"id": "...", "title": "comedy", "description": "Show your comedy skills!"}, ...].
videoLength INTEGER The duration of the video attached to this post, in seconds.
musicId STRING The unique id of the music used in this post.
musicTitle STRING The title of the music used in this post.
likes INTEGER Number of times this post has been liked.
comments INTEGER Number of times this post has been commented.
shares INTEGER Number of times this post has been shared.
views INTEGER Number of times this post and it's attached video has been viewed. This includes video views of any length.


What can you do with this data

To get you started, we have created a number of default metrics and dashboards. It’s a healthy mix of profile and video specific metrics including followers and following over time, engagement and interaction rates, challenges, and even a breakdown of songs used in the videos. As always, you can adjust each of those metrics to your needs, either by accessing the advanced settings or by opening the metric in the Metric Builder. Since this data is being incorporated and parsed to our data layer, you can use the advanced filtering and post tagging to further customize it.


The fineprint

Ok, I admit it, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows, there are limitations. As stated above, there is no support or public API or documentation from TikTok as of yet. We only have access to public information and we start recording it from the date the profile is added to quintly. The representation of the data is also rounded to the first four digits, which means 1.554.696 would become 1.554.000 (this is how TikTok rounds up their data). That’s it! On the other hand, you get a fully scalable, compliant solution that works and is integrated with our other data sources and features.

An example case - football (just because)

Since we got this far, why don’t I just show you how it works. Being a huge football fan (F.C. Barcelona especially), I’ve decided to have a look at how their TikTok account is performing at the beginning of 2021, stacked up against other big clubs. Allow me to present to you “The TikTok Champions League - 2021 TikTok data analysis” (working title).

I have added the profiles last week. By the time of writing this article (13th of January), I have a week of historic data.
Firstly, l want to see an overview at profile level. No surprise here (did I mention that I am a fan?), F.C. Barcelona has the biggest number of followers and likes, but when it comes to interaction rate, Juventus have really delivered with almost 10% interaction rate (call it a “Ronaldo effect”).

TikTok at quintly, that’s it-1

Next, I wanted to see how everyone is performing on average at video post level in the last 30 days. Liverpool FC, Champions League winner in 2019, tops the stats for the number of likes, shares and views but when it comes to average Engagement Rate, we see Chelsea F.C. in pole position.

TikTok at quintly, that’s it-2

Let’s get a bit more granular - who's got the top 3 posts with the highest engagement over the last 30 days?

TikTok at quintly, that’s it-4

Third place goes to Paris Saint-Germain F.C. (PSG). In the second place, we find Juventus, but the most engaged post is:

Ok, so far a bag of mixed emotions, for a Barca fan. Let’s check last week. “Total Likes”? F.C. Barcelona takes the lead with 22.4% of the total number of Likes. “Average Likes Per Post”? There is a nice trend that Juventus is riding.

Ok, let’s check the final metric, that make TikTok so popular, challenges! I cannot think of any other rivalry than el Clasico (F.C. Barcelona vs Real Madrid) for this setup. Everyone should know that Barcelona always had the most skilled player in their team. Let’s see if that’s true. We have chosen the “skills” challenge. We compared Views, Likes and Engagement. There can only be one winner:

TikTok at quintly, that’s it-3

About this report

You can check all of the data by clicking on any of the images (it will open an interactive dashboard for you, it’s one of our export features called ‘link export’).

I had probably a bit too much fun creating this report, but I wanted to showcase the diversity of metrics here. A little disclaimer is in order, a majority of them are default metrics but some (especially the ones related to challenges) are custom, edited by our QQL (Quintly Query Language). What you see here is just one of the use cases, but in combination with ours post tagging and other data sources and metrics, I am very excited to see what our customers come up with.

Future roadmap

This is the first iteration of this data source. We will continue to improve it and create new metrics and dashboards. Also, since it is based on TikTok public data, we are monitoring the accessibility of this data. In case of disruption, we can assure you that any historical data won’t be affected. We are also actively monitoring TikTok's development of their public API. As soon as it becomes available, we will implement it. If we get access to an API, we will expand the data sources with the private stats, historical data and more accurate numbers (not rounded, as they are served now).

As always, our development will also depend on how you guys are using these data sources. We are really excited to see what data you will measure and in which use cases.

For what’s next, all I can say is that we are just getting started! We have an amazing roadmap in mind and a new release just around the corner. Stay tuned!

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Hubert Grzesiek

Hubert is a part of the Product Team. Digital enthusiast, passionate about ever-changing Saas, Design and Technology in general.

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