Influencers including Kyle Thomas, Ehiz Ufuah and Poppy O’Toole will offer sessions on creating content
TikTok has opened its first pop-up venue in the UK, allowing fans to interact with influencers who have found success via the social media app and try to create their own mini-films.
The app, which allows users to create and share short videos soundtracked with music, has partnered with the Westfield shopping centre in west London to create the first TikTok For You House. The design of the pop-up venue, which will be open until 8 August, is inspired by TikTok’s homepage, which highlights trending clips.
Influencers including British teenager Kyle Thomas, comedian Ehiz Ufuah, chef Poppy O’Toole and freestyle footballers Jeremy Lynch and Ben Black, will offer £5 sessions explaining how to make content for TikTok. Sessions will also be available for parents to learn how to keep teenagers safe on the platform.
Wannabe TikTok stars will also be able book free sessions to use the venue to create their own films. The venue will feature several rooms that can provide different backdrops including a kitchen, which will showcase viral recipes and cook-offs. A dressing room will host beauty, fashion and transformation challenges.
The pop-up will not be selling products like a traditional shop, though those attending events will be given free TikTok merchandise.
The opening of the venue comes as shopping centres and high streets look for ways to entice consumers away from their sofas and digital entertainment, which has soared in popularity during the Covid
-19 pandemic, and back towards real-life experiences.
Landlords are also looking for new partners to fill space after major chains including Debenhams, Topshop and Gap disappeared from high streets and shopping centres, while retailers such as Marks & Spencer and John Lewis are closing stores.
TikTok, Instagram and other social media platforms have become increasingly influential with consumers, helping to drive where and what they buy, and physical space enables them to open up the platforms to new potential users.
Harita Shah, the marketing director for UK events at Westfield’s parent company Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, said: “TikTok has become a cultural phenomenon. It’s where many of our visitors are getting their inspiration from, whether that’s fashion trends, the newest home styling influencer or foodie fads.
“Having a physical space at Westfield London gives TikTok the chance to immerse shoppers and new creators in full 360 experience where the best of the online platform merges with a real-life experience.”