How TikTok EU Changes Will Impact Advertiser Experience

To fall in line with Europe's new online regulations, TikTok has introduced new compliance measures that could change the whole user and restrict advertisers' reach on the platform while offering them a safer media landscape in which to invest.

Following the introduction of the Digital Services Act (DSA) by the European Union earlier this year, TikTok, which claims to have 134 million users across Europe, has now fallen in line with newly introduced transparency measures.

Those updates include the ability for EU users to turn off personalization, the introduction of commercial content labeling and a restriction on under-18s viewing personalized ads.

“Those who choose to disable personalized content are likely to experience a more homogenized feed, with the biggest global and regional creators dominating timelines, leaving less space to discover content from smaller creators representing more niche communities and interests,” explained Edward East, co-founder of influencer marketing agency Billion Dollar Boy.

He added that this might benefit major celebrities or creators in expanding their reach on the platform, growing their earnings through brand collaborations as a result. However, it might also make it more difficult for niche communities to grow and develop.

TikTokers will be reluctant to part ways with their algorithmically curated For You pages, resulting in few opt-outs overall.

Costas Tsiappourdhi, social product partner, Brainlabs

“Not only is this a concern for some micro and nano influencers to build their following, but it could also brands who often find more value in these niche communities—particularly for campaigns with cost-effective engagement and conversion-led objectives. Brands like to exist where culture is. By tapping into small and loyal communities, brands are able to drive better engagement rates and create strong affinities with relevant and targeted audiences,” East continued.

Further measures being taken

A commercial content library will also be introduced, taking the form of a database offering information about the paid ads TikTok hosts as well as metadata such as dates the ad ran and the main parameters used for targeting.

Commercial content labeling will include options such as ad/sponsored, paid partnership or promotional content to ensure users are able to clearly see the difference across the content they are served.

There will also be the ability to report content (including ads) that users believe is illegal, which will then be reviewed against TikTok's community guidelines and ad policies before being removed should they be found to be in violation. Access will also be given to applying European academics to research the platform.

The introductory changes were announced by Madeline Moncrieff, director of legal EMEA for TikTok, on Aug. 28.

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