Bloomberg Media has ditched the TicToc brand and replaced it with QuickTake for its social media-focused news property, a change that clears up any confusion with the Chinese app called TikTok.
On Tuesday, Bloomberg announced the rebranding of TicToc, which launched as a Twitter-only video property in 2017. Since that time, the Chinese video app TikTok emerged as a global social-media powerhouse. Bloomberg did not mention the Chinese brand in its announcement, but advertising and media industry experts say it’s clear that the conflict prompted the rebranding.
“At best, the name was confusing, and more so as the other TikTok has gained in attention and interest,” says Noah Mallin, content, sponsorships and experience practice lead for Wavemaker North America.
Bloomberg’s TicToc changed its Twitter page on Tuesday to reflect the new name. Now, Twitter users will see @QuickTake, which still churns out brief snippets of video news throughout the day, much like the old TicToc. The media property began as a way for Twitter and Bloomberg to showcase their partnership and attract advertisers with professional video.
Bank of America is among the brands that have run campaigns through TicToc, and it has a history of similar partnerships with publishers on Twitter.
“Bank of America has made use of Bloomberg Media’s TicToc successfully on multiple occasions, as part of a broader mobile engagement strategy that focuses on premium, mobile-optimized editorial content such as BuzzFeed’s 'AM to DM' and 'The Recount from Jon Heilemann,'" said Lou Paskalis, SVP and enterprise media executive for Bank of America in an email. "While we all know the impetus for this name change, the reality is that QuickTake is more evocative of the core value proposition and we think it is a smart move that will only lead to continued success and demand from advertisers like us.”
Bloomberg’s TicToc expanded beyond Twitter to Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, and now generates 90 million video views a day, Bloomberg says. TikTok the app has more than 800 million monthly user worldwide, according to the company’s internal documents. TikTok the app has become a viral sensation and a hit with young users.
“If I were in Bloomberg’s shoes I would do the same thing,” says Mario Natarelli, managing partner at branding agency MBLM. “It doesn’t make sense to double-down on a name that is going to distract and confuse people.”
Even Bloomberg’s competitors have started posting to TikTok, creating another potential conflict for the brand as a social media news destination. “It gets really complicated when some of Bloomberg’s rivals like the Washington Post are publicly building a TikTok presence which could eventually be monetized,” Mallin says.
Bloomberg is using the name change as an opportunity to change strategies, too. QuickTake will land on over-the-top TV platforms in 2020, Bloomberg said in its announcement. The company did not name the services that will host QuickTake’s streaming app, yet, but TicToc videos are already available on Amazon Prime.
“It creates a streaming CNN or MSNBC rival,” Mallin says. “That’s a bold niche but it allows them to control ad revenue and monetize their audience in a much more direct way, if they can pull it off.”
Brand observers have pointed out that even QuickTake has a history as a tech brand. Apple fans might recognize the name from an Apple digital camera developed in the 1990s.
It’s always hard to find a name that is pristine and has never been tried before, Natarelli says. Still, for Bloomberg’s fast-paced, youth-focused news channel, the new name serves its purpose.
“QuickTake is a better name for what they’re trying to do with it, anyway,” Natarelli says.