Home / Tech / Startup Fanbytes uses its network of 2,000 influencers to help brands go viral on TikTok, the short-form video app teens love

Startup Fanbytes uses its network of 2,000 influencers to help brands go viral on TikTok, the short-form video app teens love


  • Fanbytes, a two-year-old startup, creates TikTok campaigns for music giants like Universal and Warner to promote new songs from their artists. 
  • These campaigns are created by Fanbytes and distributed to its network of TikTok influencers, who often challenge their followers to create a TikTok video response using the custom hashtag. 
  • In an interview with Business Insider, the 24-year-old Fanbytes CEO, Timothy Armoo, detailed the company’s business model.
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TikTok is one of the hottest video apps for teens and Fanbytes, a two-year-old startup based in the UK, is helping music giants like Universal and Warner try and cash in on it by getting their songs into viral clips. TikTok allows its users share short-form videos of themselves lip-syncing and dancing to popular music or video clips. 

24-year-old Fanbytes CEO, Timothy Armoo, said his startup employs around 30 millennials, who use their understanding of social-media trends to build creative campaigns for brands on platforms like TikTok, Snapchat, and Instagram, with the goal of getting them to go viral.

On TikTok, these campaigns often take the form of “challenges,” where users respond to videos under a specific hashtag, by creating their own version. Some of these custom challenges have landed on TikTok’s trending page and garnered millions of views, Armoo said.


Fanbytes created the #canttakeitfromme challenge for the artist management group mTheory to promote the electronic dance trio Major Lazer’s latest song, “Can’t Take It From Me.” 

The campaign challenged TikTok users to create a video of themselves playing a sport and stealing the ball from their opponent on the verse, “can’t take it from me.” It landed on TikTok’s trending page, with over 5,000 submitted videos and generated 6.2 million hashtag views, according to Fanbytes.

See also: TikTok: the rise of the insanely popular video  

“Let’s be honest, we are all on social media to show off,” Armoo told Business Insider. “With a campaign like ‘Can’t Take It From Me,’ people can show off how good they are in any particular sport. That goes back to TikTok allowing you to creatively express yourself, in a way other platforms can’t.” 

Leveraging creators for success

To give their challenges a boost, Fanbytes leverages a network of 2,000 TikTok creators, and pays them to distribute hashtag campaigns. These creators help to spread the campaigns – lifting them above the noise by encouraging their hundreds to thousands of fans to participate in the challenge using the hashtag.

Fanbytes uses a scoring system to determine how much individual influencers will be paid for a campaign. The score, created by Fanbytes cofounder Ambrose Cooke, takes into account the amount of fans a creator has, their most recent average engagement, and their live stream engagement.

Fanbytes recently added Steve McKell, who goes by @stevenmckell with 1.5 million TikTok fans; Sur Face, who goes by @surfaceldn with 873,000 TikTok fans; and David, who goes by @dsp1994 with 339,000 TikTok fans; as exclusive Fanbytes creators, making the company the only place these creators receive paid campaigns from, according to Armoo. 

How it works

Aside from music, Fanbytes also works for brands to create advertising campaigns on Snapchat and Instagram, building AR lenses and filters for Stories.  

Fanbytes provides companies with a minimum view guarantee, Armoo said. Armoo declined to tell Business Insider how much a typical campaign costs, but the cost per view ranges from $0.02 to $0.05, according to Armoo.

That’s roughly comparable to how much advertisers pay for a Snapchat campaign, a media executive who works with influencers told Business Insider. Snapchat advertisements tend to hover around the same $0.02 to $0.05 range, this exec said.

Fanbytes isn’t the only influencer marketing agency creating TikTok campaigns. Companies like Viral Nation have also created campaigns on the app.

Armoo said the fact that his employees are young and understand the technology is Fanbytes biggest advantage over its competitors. Fanbytes’ employees are “obsessed” with TikTok, Armoo said, and pick out the latest TikTok crazes they’ll notice from spending time on the app, to present as campaign ideas.

There has been a surge of advertisement campaigns popping up on TikTok. The denim brand Guess used its branded hashtag challenge (#InMyDenim) to reach Gen Z users. Chipotle advertised free delivery on Cinco de Mayo in May with its #ChipotleLidFlip challenge.

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