As of Feb 26, 2020, some TikTok users have the ability to add a custom clickable URL to their profile. In March, every Android user gained the link in bio option on their TikTok profiles, but iOS users may still be missing features, depending on the person's account. In late October 2020, it seems that the link in bio feature still isn't available to all TikTok users on iOS devices, but it's becoming more common.
Here's what it looks like:
The website URL shows up between the "Follow" button and the grid of TikTok videos. The link is black, bold, and clickable.
In this article, I'll explain how TikTok users can add a website to their profile. I'll also talk about what this means for the TikTok platform and how I predict website URLs will change the content published on TikTok.
How to Add a Link to a TikTok Bio
- Check if you're in the rollout. In our office, only some iOS people have access to the "website" field when they click edit bio. Some accounts (including our business account, @Kapwing) don't yet have access. It seems that all Android users have access to adding a link in bio. You can't yet add a link from the TikTok website.
- Click "Edit Profile". On your TikTok profile page, click the "Edit profile" button.
3. Add website: In the "Website" line right under "Bio," you'll see a field to "Add a website to your profile." Type whatever URL that you want to show on your profile. You don't need the "https"; just "www" will do. I added our website, kapwing.com.
That's all! Now, the URL that you added will show up on your TikTok profile. From browsing TikTok, I can see that many people have discovered the link in bio and are taking advantage of it.
What does this mean for TikTok?
For most people, adding a website to a TikTok profile doesn't make a big difference. But it is a sign that the TikTok platform is maturing Here are a few predictions about how website links will change the TikTok experience.
First, more brands will create TikToks and start publishing viral content there. Previously, it was harder for a publisher to drive traffic to their own website before TikTok only allowed Instagram and YouTube links. Now, companies have a better reason to invest in TikTok content, since a viral TikTok video --> many views --> more people clicking the website URL and checking out the publisher's website.
Although some people might think that this dilutes TikTok's quality because it will be more crowded with brands, I actually think this will dramatically improve the quality of content since professional videographers and creators will have a reason to stick around. We used to invest in great TikTok content, for example, but we stopped trying because we found that the time spent wasn't worth it given that no one who visited our profile could link to our website. Now, however, they will be able to.
(Kapwing is a free video editing website that helps creators make slightly better content than it's possible to make with TikTok's primitive editing tools. Check it out if you want to up your video game.)
Second, TikTok attribution will become easier, making the platform more friendly to influencers and celebrities. Without a website URL, it's hard for even the most popular TikTok creators to prove that their content has an impact on people's behavior. As a result, it's difficult to convince brands and other people with money to promote TikTok content. However, the URL gives a direct link between a TikTokers profile and the website, making it easier to demonstrate business value.
So, TikTok users can expect to see more sponsored content on TikTok from now on, similar to how Instagram and Stories have evolved over time. We'll see more affiliate links, referrals, and bit.ly.
Third, the URLs will take people out of the app to other sites like Venmo, Snap, or email.
Overall, however, TikTok is still relatively unfriendly to websites and professional creators. You can't add a link to an individual story, and it's impossible to grow a following incrementally over time. Instead, TikTokers must continue to strive for global virality, which is extremely difficult for niche brands and personalities. Until TikTok promotes the videos made by the people you follow, there's very little impact to having a larger fan base on the app, meaning creators don't stay around and put in the work to grow their fan count.
Thanks for reading! I will update this article as we hear more news about Website links in the TikTok app. I expect that more and more TikTokers will get access to the profile link over the next couple of weeks.