TikTok is looking to add more transparency to branded content on its platform, with a broader expansion of its Branded Content toggle, which influencers will soon be required to switch on when promoting products in their clips.
As explained by TikTok:
"Branded content is subject to our Branded Content Policies. We published Branded Content Policies on our website at the end of May to support the beta test of the Branded Content (BC) Toggle in select regions. The BC toggle enables creators to prominently and seamlessly disclose when there is an exchange of value to influence the creation of the post. When enabled, the toggle adds a disclosure (for example, #Ad) to the description of the video."
As TikTok explains, the Branded Content toggle is a simple switch that users can turn on when posting content for paid promotions, which adds an extra level of disclosure to their clips.
Currently available on accounts with over 10k followers in select regions, the option will soon be rolled out to all users globally and will become a requirement for all branded content posts.
"You must enable the Branded content toggle when posting Branded content on TikTok. If you include disclosure to your video description (for example, #Ad or #Sponsored), we will automatically enable the Branded content toggle if it is available for you."
It's another measure in TikTok's rising business push, as it looks to convert its burgeoning market presence into a money-making machine. The challenge for TikTok is to provide comparable monetization options to Facebook and YouTube, in order to keep its top stars posting TikTok clips, and that will involve a bigger push into both eCommerce and facilitating brand/creator relationships.
Which is where this new element comes in. In alignment with relevant ad laws, TikTok needs to ensure, where possible, that its users are disclosing any such deals, which is where the BC toggle will help in ensuring that additional transparency.
And even for those who don't have it, it's still technically a legal requirement in most regions to provide such disclosure.
"Even if you don't have access to the toggle, you are still expected to disclose where you are posting branded content in a way that's clear to your followers."
It's a small, but important update, which will help TikTok boost its brand partnership efforts. Which are becoming more prevalent. As TikTok continues to add more users, more marketers are paying attention, and the best way to make the most of platform promotions is through UGC and creator-lead approaches.
And if you are going to do that, it's worth noting this increased focus.
To turn on the Branded Content Toggle (if it's available to you):
- Tap More options on the Post screen, then tap Branded content
- Turn the toggle On