What’s the Deal with Triller?

The video-content app, Triller, has been making headlines this year and has made an especially big splash as the first few months of 2021. While the hype around TikTok is still looming heavily in the media, it’s clear that Triller wants to seriously compete. 

Claiming to have 65 million monthly active users the app is gaining traction as a social media platform. Ahead of its planned public offering, the app is launching TrillerTV, a linear programming bid featuring 40 half-hour shows hosted by well-known celebrities and digital stars. The lineup includes: Jennifer Lopez in the Morning, where J.Lo will walk viewers through a morning beauty routine using items from her cosmetics brand; The D’Amelio Family Must Haves, where the TikTok family will talk their favorite products, innovative businesses and brands; a workout series from rapper 2 Chainz; and a Perez Hilton talk show.

Below we will be diving into the platform, what it’s all about and who is doing it well. 

So grab a cup of coffee & dig in.

Triller History

At this point the Triller name has been around the block. With the Covid-19 pandemic pushing more people onto social media than ever before it’s been hard to miss the talk around up and coming platforms. The app was launched in 2015 (2 years before TikTok), by co-founders David Leiberman and Sammy Rubin. Initially the app was a video-editing service, using artificial intelligence to automatically edit distinct clips into music videos. By 2016 however the app had pivoted to a social-networking service by allowing users to follow each other and share their videos publicly. Early last summer we saw the app rise in popularity when the Trump administration threatened to ban its rival, TikTok. By August, Triller was the #1 downloaded app.

How is This Different From Other Video Platforms?

It’s easy to think that Triller & TikTok are the same because they are both short-form video content social media platforms, so let’s break down the major differences:

  • Triller doesn’t have the manual, in-app editing tools like TikTok. Instead the app uses AI-based video editing tools that automatically add effects (overlays, fast or slow motion, and basic text) to videos. This gives Triller videos a more polished look overall.
  • Triller is friendlier with the music industry. Their direct integrations with Apple Music and Spotify allow for access to hundreds of thousands of songs to discover, create music videos with, or even stream directly within the app. Their continued relationships with big name record labels and popular artists (Snoop Dog, Kendrick Lamar, Lil Wayne, and The Weeknd) have also given them a leg-up on competing entertainment apps, providing licensed material from artist catalogs for creators to use while also protecting publisher royalties. 
  • Triller tends to promote newer/more popular videos on its feed, despite what you’ve liked or viewed previously. Unlike TikTok that uses AI to show users content based on the content they engage with and watch consistently. This means that Triller’s Discover page is filled with promoted campaigns, top videos, leaderboards, and videos broken down by genre. This gives your brand’s campaign a higher chance of being shown to a larger audience, whereas on TikTok your campaign might be shown to a much smaller niche audience. 

Influencer Marketing & Triller

With these differences in mind you may want to think before copy & pasting your TikTok strategy on Triller. Because of the app’s AI-based video editing abilities and ability to have an overall more polished look, a large campaign may look more cohesive on Triller. 

It’s still early on for Triller’s relationship with the influencer community but we’ve seen many big TikTok influencers migrating to Triller, such as the D’ Amelio family (Charli, the most followed user of TikTok has amassed 6.1M followers on Triller) family and the Sway Boys, some of them creating content on both platforms regularly. Another content house in Los Angeles, The Hype House, has also had their members set up shop on Triller and they will also be a part of TrillerTV with a show called Hanging with the Hype launching on TrillerTV.

While the app has started to solidify partnerships to sell programmatic ads on the platform, it is still early and influencer marketing is still the most effective way to get your brand in front of users at scale and marketers are catching on to this trend. A recent study from Takumi, saw  73% of marketers looking to increase influencer marketing spend across all platforms with 10% specifically looking at boosting investment in Triller.

Who is Doing it Well?

Now that we know what the app is all about let’s talk about who’s on it and who is doing it well. In the past year we’ve seen a few brands stand out on Triller, a large majority of them being beauty brands. Below are a few of our favorites:

NYX Professional Makeup

In December of 2020, L’Oreal’s NYX brand of cosmetics kicked off a campaign spanning across Triller and Snapchat. The campaign debuted a first of its kind, multi-platform digital strategy to promote their Spring 2021 collection which included a virtual Triller concert by Bebe Rexha and an augmented reality pop-up shop within the platform.

NYX Professional Makeup was the first beauty brand to launch an AR shopping experience on both Snapchat and Triller, leveraging Snap’s Camera Kit to make the experience available in Triller’s mobile app. This gave users the ability to interact with the custom Snapchat Lens without leaving the Triller platform.  Users were able to access the virtual pop-up through a variety of entry points. Either through the custom branded Snapchat Lens in the Snapchat Lens carousel or in the Triller app, by using Snapchat to scan a Snapcode, and by using Snapchat to scan NYX Professional Makeup’s Marsh Mellow Smoothing Primer, one of the products in the Spring 2021 collection.

The free Triller concert took place on December 18, 2020 featuring a performance from Bebe Rexha and streamed live on the @nyxcosmetics page while also streaming simultaneously on Twitch and YouTube. Check out the full campaign details here.


Pepsi sponsored a virtual hip-hop competition on Triller. The soda brand partnered with rapper Fat Joe for the “Your Wildest Dreams” contest, which gave the winner a spot in a Pepsi Wild Cherry commercial this year. Triller users had to create a video on the platform to audition for the competition using the Pepsi Wild Cherry #YourWildestDreams filter and hashtag.

This campaign included a panel of top industry individuals including Fat Joe, Mike WiLL Made-It, Mulatto, Quay Global and Kenny Burns. Three finalists were given the opportunity to perform at “Triller house” in Atlanta and had a mentoring session. Pepsi used the Triller platform to reach a younger audience through this activation. See full campaign details here.

Boost Mobile

Last year Boost Mobile and Triller joined forces to give an aspiring artist the chance of a lifetime to collaborate with some of the biggest names in the industry. The “Step Up to the Mic” powered by Boost Mobile™, a nationwide digital elimination-style talent search competition was open to the public and served as a platform for someone to get their big break and begin their music career with support from Triller, Boost Mobile and prominent artists Starrah, Murda Beatz, Quavo, and Takeoff. 

One talented individual was awarded a record label and management deal, the chance to record an original song written by prominent songwriter Starrah and produced by Murda Beatz, and shoot a professional music video. Check out the winner and more information here.

All in all Triller poses some awesome opportunities. If you’re curious about activating on the app as part of your next campaign, reach out to and let’s strategize!