Why TikTok is Partnering with Brands to Promote Gift Giving During COVID-19



“Small Gestures” allows users to send free virtual gifts from a range of brand partners within the app.


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During this continued period of social distancing technology fulfills an extraordinarily important role. It’s helped us adapt our lifestyles around remote work and finding the balance of personal and professional lives that comes with this, how to self organize to help those in need, and most importantly, letting loved ones know you’re thinking of them while the coronavirus pandemic keeps us apart.


TikTok is embracing this through a new collaboration with its brand partnerships, a program titled “Small Gestures.” Small Gestures offers the connectivity in demand through the small act of sending a gift to someone who may need a simple boost whether that be creative inspiration for a video, exercise ideas and ways to support their mental health during this time of crisis.

TikTokers can use the Small Gestures feature up to three times apiece to send gifts to loved ones and friends free-of-charge.


  1. Search for ‘Small Gestures’ on the Discover Page
  2. Click on the purple banner at the top of the page
  3. Browse through several partner offerings and select the one you want to send
  4. Tap on the offer and send it via message

The gifts available in the app cater to a wide variety of interests and passion from food to podcasts, to fitness to learning new languages and how to make videos, and more. Here are the highlights:

  • A 90-day subscription to Adobe Premiere Rush
  • A 1-month free DashPass subscription from DoorDash
  • A 90-day trial for Pandora
  • A two-month premium membership for Skillshare with unlimited access
  • A $120 credit towards Talkspace’s online and mobile therapy sessions
  • A 30-day trial to Alo Moves’ on-demand yoga, fitness and mindfulness classes
  • A 90-day trial to for the elite personal training platform Fitplan
  • A free 90-day subscription to the language-fluency app Fluent Forever
  • A $30 discount off any purchase from The Bouqs Co. for any flower arrangement or plant
  • A code for 15 percent off online purchases of any Rebbi coconut-milk-based beverages
  • A limited offering of game tiles including Lara Croft Go, Hitman Go, and Deus Ex Go from publisher Square Enix


Per TikTok, the stated aim of the Small Gestures is to “provide comfort and “thinking of you” reminders to friends and family while we’re apart.” However it’s worth noting that another significant element at play here is a push into the e-commerce space. Recently, the platform unveiled a set of tools and external linking options within bios and uploaded videos in order to provide more revenue generation options for creators. In tandem, TikTok also launched an influencer marketplace.

YouTube is carving its space in the territory with ‘Shorts‘ its own take on short-form to exist inside the current YouTube app. Details remain scarce but the platform shared it will allow creators to take advantage of YouTube’s catalog of licensed music and create clips similar to those seen on TikTok.

Much like Pinterest, TikTok amidst COVID-19 is eager to expand on the activities that users can undertake within the app — more specifically be a destination for shopping and discovery. The hurdle is, of course, starting virtually then transitioning to a shopping experience that feels more like ”real life.” Making this seamless will translate into habitual behaviors that will feel genuine and provide context to time spent within the app itself.

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