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TikTok in the Spotlight

TikTok has rapidly become a phenomenon. The Chinese social network is a platform for entertainment and information, but it also stands as a hub for creativity and user engagement within the realm of social media. With its short-form videos and advanced algorithms that personalize the user experience, TikTok has captured the attention of over a billion people worldwide. The platform's ability to keep users engaged has led it to challenge even Google for the title of the world's most visited website.

From Entertainment to Information Source: TikTok's Revolution in Media Consumption

TikTok has changed the way we consume entertainment. With its ability to capture attention, the platform has altered the landscape, where news and traditional entertainment have encountered a new competitor. The daily engagement of users and the average time spent on TikTok by each user reveal a tendency towards addiction, largely thanks to the platform's ability to trigger the "happiness chemical" dopamine through its content. TikTok has also begun to challenge traditional search engines like Google, especially among the younger generation. With an increasing use of TikTok to search for information, ranging from recipes to DIY tips, the platform has positioned itself as a credible source of content that is both easily digestible and up-to-date.

TikTok's History and Development

ByteDance, the company behind TikTok, was founded in 2012 and has since made strategic moves that have shaped TikTok's destiny. From the acquisition of to the launch of Douyin, a precursor to TikTok, ByteDance has developed a platform that has quickly adapted to user needs and global trends. In Norway, TikTok has rapidly become part of the digital everyday life, with a significant portion of the population, especially young adults, using the app regularly. In 2020, the USA began to consider a ban on TikTok, and it was decided to ban the app in Montana, but this was temporarily halted. It is still under consideration in the USA, and we could see a total ban of the app in the USA next year.

TikTok and Privacy:

Regulations and User Data Privacy is a central theme in the digital era, and TikTok is no exception. In Norway and Europe, the collection and use of personal data are regulated by the GDPR, while the DMA and DSA set limits on how large digital players, like TikTok, operate. These regulations mean that advertisers must take responsibility and ensure that their practices comply with current laws. TikTok, like all social media, collects vast amounts of user data. This raises an ethical dilemma about how these data can be used and shared, especially given China's authoritarian regime. Despite concerns about privacy, TikTok's user base continues to grow, suggesting that many users do not let potential data sharing with China affect their use of the app.

Market Demand for Privacy

There is a growing demand for stricter privacy in the market. Tech giants like Apple and Google have started to limit tracking through their devices and services. This puts pressure on advertisers to reconsider their practices and ensure that they not only comply with the law but also respect users' desire for privacy.

Brand Safety on TikTok: A Guide for Advertisers

To ensure brand safety on TikTok, advertisers must be proactive and strategic. By using TikTok's inventory filters and third-party verification, advertisers can control the context in which their ads are displayed. It is also important to stay informed about the platform's changes and adaptations in response to new regulations. Advertisers must consider the necessity of tracking in relation to their campaign goals on TikTok. Many goals can be achieved without extensive use of pixels or other tracking technology. Advertisers should also consider the cost-effectiveness and brand safety when choosing to advertise on TikTok.

Concluding Thoughts

TikTok represents a unique fusion of technology, culture, and marketing. Advertisers looking to leverage this platform must be aware of both the opportunities and challenges that come with it. By following ethical guidelines, respecting privacy, and continuously adapting to changing regulations, advertisers can ensure that they maintain user trust and protect their own reputation. TikTok is more than a passing trend – and something that advertisers should actively consider if they wish to utilize and exploit its potential.

Interbuss Q4 2023
Ipsos SoMe Tracker Q4 2023