August 11, 2022

TikTok has launched a new transparency tool that will allow users to get more information on why they see certain ads and what kind of data TikTok uses to deliver effective advertising on the platform.

As announced via the TikTok website:

“Advertising has become part of the TikTok experience as brands continue to express their authentic selves and build meaningful connections with the community. While we serve ads to keep our platform free and help you discover things you love, we’re committed to being transparent about how we collect, use, and share data for advertising.”

The new feature is labelled ‘About This Ad’ and outlines all the data points and targeting elements that have triggered you to be served the specific ad on your screen.

These targeting parameters can include:

  • Location
  • Age
  • System information (device type)
  • The content you have interacted with 
  • Online activity on/off TikTok (depending on your ad settings)

“For example, you may see a car rental service ad because the age associated with your account is 25+, matched with the advertiser’s targeting requirements for this ad. You may see a pet food ad based on TikTok’s estimate of your interest in pets.” Explains TikTok.

To access this feature, enter the ‘share’ menu in the bottom right or perform a long press on the ad. From the ‘about your ad’ page, you will also be able to access your ad personalisation settings and make changes to your preferences, which, in a nutshell, is just deciding if you would like TikTok to be able to track you outside of the app to better serve you advertisements on the platform. 

TikTok will always retain the right to track your in-platform behaviour to serve you suitable ads, but the idea is to allow users to protect their data once they are no longer on the platform if they choose.

While this is a new step towards TikTok enhancing advertising transparency, the app insists that they are not done there.

“There is no finish line when it comes to fulfilling our commitment to privacy and transparency. We continue to safeguard our users’ information and provide our community with a range of privacy, safety and security controls as they choose the TikTok experience that’s right for them. We look forward to sharing more about our ongoing work.”

‘About this ad’ is now available on TikTok to all users globally.

About the author 

Sam King

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