“TikTok is preference-based, and the ‘For You’ page varies per person. This is what sets TikTok apart from others. As the platform continues to grow, there is more diversity of content which opens the door to diverse creators. While there are many different categories of content to create and consume, sports content in particular is growing, and as a result we’ve seen creators become popular off that.”
The rise in popularity around sports content has underpinned TikTok’s decision to form relationships and partnerships with some of the biggest sporting events around the world, allowing fans to easily engage with and be connected to their favorite football moments. Previously TikTok announced major sponsorship deals for Euro 2020 and more recently with AFCON 2021 – with already agreed deals for CAF Confederations Cup, CAF Champions League and Africa Women Cup of Nations.
Earlier in the year, TikTok increased the maximum length on its videos to 10 minutes which is great for viewing sports games and highlights. While it was already the new home for mini videos, it had now veered into the realms of becoming the next ‘television,’ where people can consume entertaining content of all types and lengths. With this has come the rise of TikTok in Africa, the continent with the youngest population in the world.
“While entertainment is key to our platform, providing a safe and positive in-app experience remains one of our top priorities. Earlier this year, we launched our #SwipeOutHate campaign, encouraging our community to stand together against hate in football and to make the most of our TikTok safety tools.”
Moross adds that at the end of the day, TikTok has a tendency to make content go global. “When it comes to TikTok’s drive in African football, we have seen an uptick in the popularity of African football content on our platform. Our drive is about giving African sportsmen, African legends and African sports fans a platform to connect and engage.”
StoneAvenue, a Nigerian graduate, needed a platform to express his interest in sports journalism and find his voice. Getting into the big platforms would have required auditions and all that. But instead, on the advice of his sister he joined TikTok, where he could record himself using his mobile phone in low-lit conditions.
In June 2021, he had his first viral video which was a critique of Manchester United’s signing of Raphael Varane. Even with the quality of video, he became a top African sports creator on TikTok. “I received a lot of backlash from Man United fans, as expected,” Stone says. “But these days, some of those guys are now fans of mine, probably because they are now mad at their club [laughs].”
And since then, he hasn’t looked back.
In 2021, he quit his day job because he was starting to really explode on TikTok. In the case of Stone Avenue, he has become a darling of real-time reactions to trending sport issues on the platform.
Moross goes on to tell Pulse that some of the most popular types of sports content on the platform from African creators are engaging fan reviews, behind-the-scenes content and match highlights.
In Stone’s case, he does three types of content: pregame analysis, half-time reactions and full-time reactions. And if (a possibly historic) event happens, he puts in his 10,000 hours.
These days he’s added range to his commentary. As a Barcelona fan, he once recorded himself under a shower while dressed in corporate attire. He also covers the Moroccan league, Nigerian league and more.
“The diverse range and origin stories of my content have opened me up to a larger audience,” Stone continues. “I found out that reacting like a fan to the club in question has helped my content. The fairness and non-partisanship of my content has also helped me.”
These days, Stone is doing so well and amassing many fans that he wouldn’t reconsider a new job.