TikTok have announced changes to its personalised ads and content moderation services to fulfil its commitments to the EU’s Digital Services Act (DSA).
Over the next few weeks, an additional reporting option will be in place for European users. This will give TikTok’s userbase the ability to report content, including advertising, that they believe is illegal.
Users reporting the content will be given a list of options to categorise the content, including hate speech, harassment and financial crimes.
TikTok stated that the reported content will first be moderated against their community guidelines, before being sent to a dedicated team of legal experts to determine the legality of the footage. Both the poster of the reported content and the user who reported it will be given a full breakdown of the team’s decision and TikTok states that both will be given the option to appeal.
Alongside this, TikTok also announced that European users aged between 13-17 will no longer receive personalised advertising, based on their activities off or on the app.
This change in advertising comes soon after TikTok made accounts for users under the age of 16 private and unable to be shown in its For You Page.
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Looking forward, TikTok made clear that it will continue to update its app to meet DSA requirements.
Not only will ads no longer be personalised for teen users, but the app will also be giving the option to all European users to turn off personalisation for their For You and LIVE feeds.
These feeds will instead show users popular content from their local area as well as around the globe, instead of showing them videos based off user personal interests.
These changes to appease DSA standards may be in reaction to many bans that TikTok has faced globally, such as in the US state Montana.
TikTok’s removal of personalised advertising for European teen users may come as a blow to advertisers who have continued to pay TikTok for appearances despite the Montana ban.
GlobalData’s thematic intelligence report into the social media sector warned that the industry’s ad-funded business model is growing increasingly unsustainable.
The report cites a study by Google which found that untargeted ads typically sell for 50 to 65% less than targeted ads, exemplifying the value which may be lost as TikTok removes this option entirely for EU teen users.