Big Changes for TikTok Ads: Restrictions on Teen Ads And AI Disclosure

Graphic showing TikTok ad changes with restrictions on teen ads and mandatory AI disclosure

According to the latest updates, TikTok officially confirms that it is imposing severe restrictions on ad targeting for teens. From now on, advertisers can only use broad options like location and device to reach teens in the US. Here’s what TikTok officially announced:

“Advertisers will now only be able to reach teens using a few broad targeting options, such as location, language, and device-related information.”

In addition, TikTok has rolled out specific features to improve users’ transparency and data security. The massive policy update is viewed as a nasty blow to the advertising industry. Read on to know everything about the latest TikTok policy update.

Why did TikTok do this?

As of now, TikTok has not released any official statements as to why such drastic measures are implemented. However, considering the recent updates, the reasons are pretty obvious.

First, the Digital Services Act of the European Union (EU), which came into effect in February 2024, pressures social media platforms to take full responsibility for content shown to minors. Failure to acknowledge such observations may invite heavy fines, which could be up to 10% of global revenue or £18m – whichever is higher. In the worst case, the officials may even be arrested.

As a result, major social media platforms like Facebook and YouTube have already implemented limitations on the use of data for personalized targeting of users under 18.

Moreover, several experts suggest that data security is becoming the need of the hour. Therefore, it is clear that TikTok’s latest announcement is not just to abide by the EU regulations but also to improve its authenticity among its user base.

New Features

TikTok has also introduced several new features in this update for users to control what type of ads they want to see. For instance, a sports enthusiast can reduce the frequency or even opt out of viewing devotional product ads that are of the slightest interest to him.

A ‘disconnect advertisers’ option prevents some advertisers from using your external data, such as your interaction with a website, to personalize your ad experience. With this update, users can even wholly disconnect all their off-app activity data associated with their TikTok account.

AI Disclosure Requirements

Last month, TikTok made a revolutionary announcement enabling businesses to create unique virtual AI avatars for promotion. They plan to ramp up shopping activities in the app through such features.

However, as the trend of AI-generated content continues to storm the feed, many businesses misuse such features, particularly in the ad industry. For instance, the number of AI ads promoting fake celebrity endorsements is rising.

That’s why TikTok introduced an AI disclosure requirement for advertisers. From now on, marketers need to toggle the AIGC bar on the TikTok ads manager while posting AI ads. This will ensure users are aware that they are viewing an AI image or video in advance.

Final Take

Approximately one-fourth of TikTok users are under 20. Therefore, the gravity of turning off personalized ads for that category could have heavier consequences than you might think. But that does not mean it is the end of the game. You can still reach out to teens in TikTok using broader options like language, device, and location.

All the changes mentioned above are effective immediately. So, make sure that you polish your TikTok ad strategy before hitting that publish button.

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