TikTok, one of the word’s fastest-growing apps has drawn a line the sand for its potential advertisers, saying it will not accept paid political ads.
The news came via a blog post on the TikTok site by Blake Chandlee, the brand’s vice president of global business solutions. The post stated that the nature of paid political ads was not something the TikTok team believes fits the platform’s experience.
The social video app - which is owned by Chinese internet technology company ByteDance - will no longer accept ads that promote or oppose a candidate, current leader, political party or group. It will also go further by not accepting ads promoting a political issue at the federal, state, or local level, which includes election-related ads and advocacy ads.
Throughout his post, Chandlee stuck hard to the line that the reasoning behind the decision was to retain the platform’s cheerful, happy tone.
He said, “While we explore ways to provide value to brands, we're intent on always staying true to why users uniquely love the TikTok platform itself: for the app's light-hearted and irreverent feeling that makes it such a fun place to spend time.”
Chandlee remained noticeably positive in his presentation, praising the creativity of brands on the platform using unconventional approaches to native advertising formats like sponsored hashtag challenges or in-feed ads that utilise an immersive style. He also praised the potential of partnerships and made sure to namedrop the app’s newly-launched TikTok Creator Marketplace, a beta program that enables brands to discover, connect, and engage with creators for marketing campaigns.
Though it may sacrifice a huge potential revenue stream, it is understandable why TikTok has made this move. While other social platforms are still performing reputation repairs in the wake of both the 2016 U.S presidential election and the Brexit referendum, TikTok has managed to keep its political identity squeaky clean. Furthermore, as the app has an extremely young user base, it's probably making a deft dodge of any of the potential issues that fellow video platform YouTube has faced in regards to content and minors.