TikTok is implementing major changes to its ad products in Europe to ensure it meets EU regulations.
The platform plans to significantly reduce targeted advertising capabilities, while ads that violate its rules will be put on global bans.
Under the Digital Services Act, the platform is also going to provide users with additional reporting options and give more clarity to creators about its content moderation decisions.
Why we care. It’s more important than ever for marketers to keep up-to-date with TikTok’s policies as an ad being banned worldwide would be disastrous; reach and conversions would plummet, ROI would fall and it could also cause reputational damage. The changes to targeted advertising could also have a negative impact on reach, which may make you want to consider if ad space on an alternative platform would be more profitable.
Updates. TikTok announced several changes to its platform that will impact the user experience int he EU. These include:
- Additional reporting – TikTok users in the EU will now be able to report ads they believe are illegal. The platform is rolling out new features to simplify this process, including introducing complaint categories such as hate speech, harassment and financial crimes.
- Global bans – If content is found to break TikTok’s Community Guidelines, it will be removed from the platform globally. Content that doesn’t break its guidelines but does violate the law will be taken down in that country only.
- Ban on targeted ads for teens – Teenagers in Europe aged 13-17 will now no longer see personalised advertising based on their activities, whether that is on or off TikTok.
- Option to turn off personalisation – When personalisation is turned off by users in the EU, the ‘For You’ and ‘LIVE’ feeds will show popular videos from both where live and around the world – as opposed to content based on their personal interests. Similarly, when using non-personalised search, they will see results made up of popular content from their region and in their preferred language.
- More transparency – TikTok is planning to share more detail about its content moderation decisions with creators, including whether AI decided the action taken.
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What has TikTok said? TikTok confirmed the updates via an announcement on its blog. A spokesperson said:
- “The European Union has set a clear vision for platform regulation with the Digital Services Act (DSA). Following our updates in July about our Research API and Commercial Content Library, we are providing more information about the work that we are doing to meet our obligations under the Act by the August 28 deadline.”
- “Our mission is to inspire creativity and bring joy. We know that ensuring the safety, privacy, and security of our European community is critical to achieving that goal.”
- “We will continue to not only meet our regulatory obligations, but also strive to set new standards through innovative solutions and by working with our industry partners, regulators, lawmakers, and civil society.”
Deep dive. Read TikTok’s Digital Service Act announcement in full for more information.