Myself and Lacey (@benthamite) and Emma Williamson (@dailydosenews) piloted giving away copies of Doing Good Better on TikTok. This is a short write up of intermediate results.

  • Executive summary
    • We gave away 359 books across 5 videos
    • 320 of those came from the most successful video
    • Each video took a couple of hours of work
    • I want to do a follow-up survey to see how many of these people actually read the book and got involved in EA. My guess is that a few of them did, which would make this a fairly cost-effective outreach strategy. I plan to publish a longer write up once those survey results are in.
  • Process
    • We created videos advertising various EA things, with a call to action for them to get a free book by accessing a link in our bio
    • People filled out a form with their contact information to receive the book. We did not require a credit card etc.
    • The form let them opt out of receiving a follow-up survey
  • Advertising
    • I tried purchasing promotion for one video. In TikTok, this means that the video was shown to more people than usual with small text indicating that it's being shown to the user via paid promotion.
    • As expected, this dramatically increased the number of people viewing the video, but very few of them signed up to get a book.
    • Probably someone should try this with a larger sample size though, and also with video which is inherently more compelling.
    • (I am unable to promote the most popular video as the sound is copyrighted.)
  • Thoughts on the most popular video
    • I filmed Sam doing a dance (as opposed to e.g. talking into the camera) because this let me decide later what text to put on top of it instead of having to decide that before filming.
    • I think this was the right call – my first attempt was not very successful, but the second one was.
    • Sam obviously has starpower but the fact that the first video was unsuccessful indicates that people aren't just watching because of his celebrity. This makes me hopeful that at least some of the people who got books did so because they were intrigued by the message.
    • The success of the video seems to have mostly been driven by having a higher watch percentage (as opposed to engagement through likes/comments etc.)
  • Thanks to the EABD team and the Open Philanthropy Project for making this project possible
VideoViewsLikesCommentsSharesAd ClicksWatch %Estimated books given away
Daily dose news (hidden)      










Suffering per calorie








suffering per calorie ($49 of advertising)






Sam v1 (hidden)








Sam v2










More posts like this

Sorted by Click to highlight new comments since: Today at 6:30 AM

This is super interesting. I love that someone has taken EA to TikTok so thank you all for your hard and very innovative work! 

 Two questions: 

  • How come you went for the replaceability and suffering per calorie concepts for your promotional videos? On first glance, these seem like slightly more esoteric EA concepts (especially suffering per calorie) that wouldn't be as appealing to those new to EA. My fairly uneducated guess would be that something more simple/easy to understand like prospecting for gold could be fairly good - as it's a clear analogy related to the core of EA.
  • Relatedly, have you got ideas for upcoming videos or will you wait until the survey results come back? 


  1. They were just videos we had already wanted to make. I don't have a strong opinion about them being better than prospecting for gold.
  2. I have a long backlog of video ideas, but unfortunately I'm not sure when I will get to them. I think these TikTok results are reasonably promising, but still pretty clearly less impactful in my work at CEA and Lacey's bioinformatics work. (If people have different models here though, I would be interested to hear that.)

How do the mechanics of the book giveaway work? Like literally how do you get the books to them? I have run one on twitter and it took a lot of work.

We just used EABD – they make it extremely easy.

That's EA Books Direct.