TikTok will make personalized ads a must-have from April 15th. The social network already displays targeted advertisements based on user behavior within the platform, but currently has an option to disable activity tracking in the app.
With the change, the application must take into account the user’s actions during navigation to choose the ads that will be displayed. The company has started sending a notice about the change to all users who choose to view untargeted advertisements within the social network.
“Based on your settings, you currently see general ads that are not based on your activity,” says the warning. “Starting on April 15th, your settings will change and the advertisements will be based on what you do on TikTok.”
The change affects only the user’s activities within the application. That is, it will still be possible to block TikTok from tracking its behavior in other applications or websites to direct the display of ads.
The move brings the TikTok ad experience closer to its main competitors, including Facebook and Twitter. Platforms also map user behavior while browsing, but still deliver the option to block external tracking.
In a statement sent to The Verge, TikTok tried to reassure users concerned about the change and said it was committed to respecting the privacy of its consumers. The social network said it will continue to be transparent about the use of data collected within the app.
The change in TikTok’s ad guidelines comes after Apple announces new privacy policies for iOS 14 that intensify the use of App Track Transparency (ATT). Soon, App Store apps will have to ask the user for permission to track data from external sources to target advertisements.
Ad-making companies fear that the move could bring huge declines in advertising earnings. The movement of TikTok could be a way for the company to try to adapt to the new usage patterns of iOS.