TikTok Bucks Big Tech’s Downsizing Trend and Steps Up Latin America Expansion

The social media company is expanding its presence in Latin America, opening offices in Colombia and preparing to do so in Argentina, and has launched an advertising tool for small and medium-sized enterprises in Chile

In Brazil, TikTok has an office in Vila Olímpia, São Paulo.
March 31, 2023 | 01:27 PM

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Bloomberg Línea — ByteDance-owned TikTok is expanding its presence in Latin America as it opens an office in Bogotá and is preparing to open an office in Buenos Aires.

In an interview with Bloomberg Línea, Gabriela Comazzetto, TikTok’s global business solutions director for Latin America, said the Colombia office will serve the Andean region, while Buenos Aires will be the hub for the southern cone.

TikTok also has offices in Los Angeles, New York, London, Paris, Berlin, Dubai, Mumbai, Singapore, Jakarta, Seoul, Tokyo, Miami and Mexico City.

“Latin America is a significant market of users who use the platform daily for a long time, this creates a very big business opportunity for us,” said Comazzetto.

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In recent days the company launched TikTok Ads Manager, a self-service advertising platform for small and medium-sized businesses, in Chile. The tool was already available in Brazil and Mexico.

“We strongly believe in the business potential of Latin America as a whole and that is why we are entering these markets with full force,” she said.

According to TikTok, in Brazil, three out of four users have already bought a product after seeing it on the platform, while 85% of users in Brazil have already researched a new product after seeing a video ad from a creator, and 83% of TikTok users in Brazil are likely to follow a brand while using the platform.

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Comazzetto, who is included on Bloomberg Línea’s list of 50 women of impact in Latin America in 2023, joined TikTok in 2020 to launch the business operation for the Brazilian market.

“I arrived with the challenge of setting up the whole operation and taking TikTok to advertisers, agencies, and direct clients,” she said. After six months, she took over the Latin America operation and opened the company’s operations in Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Colombia and Miami.

In 2022, the company also debuted in Ecuador and Uruguay.

From July 2021 until the following year, TikTok operated in partnership with a reseller in the region through which advertisers could plug in, except for Miami, Mexico, and Brazil, where TikTok operates by itself.

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Now, Colombia will have its own team, with new hires from TikTok.

According to Comazzetto, the main challenge was to position the platform by educating brands and agencies in Latin America on how they can run their campaigns on the platform.

“We are a platform that celebrates a lot of diversity and authenticity, so brands have to come here with an appropriate language to be able to engage with this whole community,” she said.

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With TikTok having been in the Brazilian market for five years now, “practically all large and medium-sized advertisers are already on the platform”, according to Comazzetto.

Besides being a platform for advertising, TikTok also acts in sales conversions, with cases of flat sales through the platform, Rock in Rio tickets, and even renegotiation of debts of 500,000 people from Serasa through TikTok.

According to PitchBook data, Tiktok saw revenues of $11 billion in 2022.