Digital Publishing
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Hearst UK partners with TikTok, boosting beleaguered social media platform

Men’s Health and Women’s Health announce hashtag challenge with TikTok

Earlier this month, the US president issued an executive order “on addressing the threat posed by TikTok,” prohibiting “any transaction” with ByteDance, the Chinese company that owns the video-sharing app. 

India has already banned TikTok, and the company’s plan to base its international HQ in the UK has been thrown into doubt following pressure by Washington.

TikTok has now sued the Trump administration, marking a major escalation in the fight. It’s a big battle as “TikTok’s parent company ByteDance faces a deadline of 15 September either to sell its US operations to Microsoft or another US firm or face an outright ban.”

Will Britain follow suit? Probably.

TikTok receives a major vote in confidence

In this milieu, a major publisher—Hearst Magazines—still thinks that TikTok is a viable proposition moving forwards.

Men’s Health, the UK’s best-selling men’s magazine, and Women’s Health, the nation’s No.1 authority on female health and wellness, have just announced a social partnership with TikTok that will see both brands co-create inspirational hashtag challenges through the #LearnOnTikTok initiative. 

“The initiative was a no brainer”

#LearnOnTikTok brings educators and experts together to build an ecosystem of learning content to educate, inform and entertain consumers.

As part of the collaboration, the Men’s Health and Women’s Health UK brands will help drive audience engagement for TikTok, whilst the challenges – which will feature prominently within the discover section of the App – will give users the chance to benefit from trusted information from market-leading wellness brands.

“We’re absolutely thrilled to partner with TikTok to help us further grow our health and wellbeing brands by reaching new audiences at scale,” says Lauren Smith, Head of Social Editorial Strategy at Hearst UK.

For us, the initiative was a no brainer, and provides us with a fun and engaging platform to educate consumers not only on fitness and nutrition, but also on important issues such as mental wellbeing.

Lauren Smith, Head of Social Editorial Strategy at Hearst UK

“Learning in a short-form content format”

From today, Men’s Health will go live with a #FuelforFitness challenge, where Fitness Editor Andrew Tracey will showcase the food he uses to fuel workouts. Other TikTok creators will also showcase educational content around exercise and nutrition as part of the content available.

Meanwhile, Women’s Health will launch its own fitness-related hashtag challenges – designed to get more people active – on TikTok from late September. 

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with experts, real-world skills creators and educators for #LearnonTikTok to deliver the widest experience of learning in a short-form content format,” said Rich Waterworth, TikTok General Manager EU.

From fitness and nutrition to, motivational tips and quick cooks – we want to help people access learning that is personal, local and specific to their everyday lives in the easiest and simplest way possible.

Rich Waterworth, TikTok General Manager EU

A partnership in peril?

While Hearst considers this initiative a “no brainer,” the current challenges faced by the wildly popular TikTok are quite gargantuan, with potential ramifications for this fledgling partnership.

For example, if TikTok is banned in the US, there is a possibility that Hearst may come under pressure to stop its UK collaboration. 

We reached out to Hearst UK who wouldn’t comment on the situation.