TikTok’s announced an update to its policies around the data it uses to target users with ads, as it looks to move into line with evolving EU privacy laws, as well as broader industry shifts.
The main change relates to teen users specifically, with TikTok moving to eliminate the use of off-platform activity as an element in its ad targeting process for youngsters.
As explained by TikTok:
“This means that people in the United States aged 13 to 15 will no longer see personalized ads on TikTok based on their activities off TikTok and people in the European Economic Area, United Kingdom, and Switzerland aged 13 to 17 will no longer see personalized ads on TikTok based on their activities on or off TikTok. We're continuing to work toward providing all people on TikTok with transparency and controls so they can choose the experience that's right for them.”
The update will bring TikTok into line with the EU Digital Services Act (DSA), which comes into effect in the coming months, and outlines new provisions that limit the use of data to target young users.
In the US, TikTok’s also halting the use of off-platform activity, which is another step towards limiting activity tracking, and aligning with new shifts towards more advanced protections for teens.
The updates are necessary, and they could impact how you use TikTok for your campaigns, especially given that two-thirds of US teens use the app. Industry-wide changes in approach to data usage have already impacted tracking in many ways, and in this sense, TikTok’s update aligns with evolving standards - but the immediate impacts could limit your efforts.
TikTok’s also rolling out some new updates designed to increase transparency for all users.
First off, it’s launching a new ‘Clear my activity’ feature, which will enable users to clear any details that advertising partners and businesses have shared with TikTok.
“Activity details could include, for example, interactions with advertising partners apps or websites that may have been used to show them ads.”
It’s another means to give users more control over how their personal data is used, which could also help in avoiding untargeted promotions.
TikTok’s also adding new content transparency labels, to better clarify brand partnerships, while it’s also adding a new ‘Limited Data Use’ feature, to align with US state privacy laws.
“LDU for the Pixel and Events API helps give businesses more control over how their event data is used in TikTok's systems. The feature will be available in California, Virginia, Colorado, Connecticut, and Utah.”
The updates, as noted, will move TikTok more into line with regional laws, while also providing users with more control over how their personal info is used, and better highlighting influencer endorsements in-stream.
And while these are necessary changes, they will also impact your TikTok marketing approach, and it’s worth considering if and how you may need to update your strategies in line with these shifts.
You can read more about TikTok’s latest data usage updates here.