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TikTok’s New ‘About This Ad’ Tool Gives Users Insight On How Their Data Is Being Used For Ad Targeting

The topic of targeted advertising seems to be on so many people’s minds these days and leading digital platforms are no exception.

First, we saw Apple turn the world upside down when it announced its new in-app ad tracking transparency tool that enables users to provide consent if they wish to be tracked.

Now, the latest company to join the bandwagon with something along that theme happens to be TikTok. Yes, the popular short video app is launching a new tool called ‘About this Ad’.

Recently, the firm published a blog post that clearly outlined how users' private data was used on the app for the purpose of targeting advertising.


The tool arises in the form of a panel which makes it so much easier to see the different elements involved when displaying ads to those on the app.

TikTok says that the whole purpose of introducing this new feature is so users can click on any ad that pops up on their feed and learn about why such an ad has been displayed in the first place for them by the app.

TikTok adds this is another way related to how it wishes to put forward more transparency across the app’s practices reserved for advertising. Also, they hope some users can better understand how the whole process of targeted ads works.

After pressing the tab labeled ‘About this Ad’ on the screen, users get the chance to turn off the personalization of their advertisements thanks to data gained view third parties. Also, TikTok revealed that whether the tab is switched on or off, the platform still manages to make use of users’ activity on the platform as a part of its process to target users for its ad campaigns.

This new update is sure to align TikTok more with a number of other leading applications in the social media world that are putting forward similar transparency tools. But we must take this point to note how the app is certainly continuing with its usual business of personally tracking users for the purpose of personalized ads in different ways.

The news is awfully shocking because there are stricter rules and policies getting into place as we speak in this regard.

Just last month, the app made headlines when it announced that it was left with no choice but to suspend a possible change being made to the app’s privacy policy. This was related to getting user insights linked to targeted advertising. There were plenty of questions linked to if that change was even legal by the protocols for data protection brought forward by the EU.

So, we can see that there are two edges to this spectrum. One is related to TikTok trying to be a little more upfront regarding personal details for the sake of targeting advertising. On the other hand, we see it trying to escape the stringent restrictions in place.

Hence, all we know is that for the change to carry forward, the EU is definitely going to take a closer look and see if the app really can make the change or not.

But that’s clearly not the only updated overview regarding TikTok’s ad usage. The company also plans to make its users better understand the world of ads through an updated version of its ad usage policy.

This will gauge if the ads shown are linked to estimates based on gender and user interests or not. So as you can see, the app is so interested to spread awareness among its users and we feel there’s nothing wrong with such updates.

Read next: TikTok Makes Bigger Push Into The World Of eCommerce With Its Order Center Tracking Panel

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