TikTok Turns Up the Transparency

TikTok has launched two supplements that will make the lives of marketers much easier: the Commercial Content Library and Commercial Content API. If you use this platform to promote your brand, read on….

What is the Commercial Content Library?

Very simply, TikTok’s Commercial Content Library is all about maintaining transparency around the platform’s paid advertising. As explained by Nicola Agius in Search Engine Land, this library consists of a database which marketers may use to research specific information about any paid ads that are posted by TikTok, along with any commercially-related content. The overall purpose of the Commercial Content Library is to give marketers a clearer insight into how a campaign performs, as well as a better understanding of the TikTok algorithm.

Just the facts…

The data that may be reviewed on the Commercial Content Library includes: advertising creative, demographics (such as age, gender, and location, as examples), the number of people that an ad was served to, and the run dates. With this information at their disposal, marketers will be able to pinpoint the types of paid ads that make an effective impact on TikTok users. Sounds good, yes? It gets better…

Commercial Content API

Coinciding with the launch of the Commercial Content Library—as well as stepping up transparency efforts even further—TikTok is also releasing a Commercial Content API (application programming interface). Similar to the library, this interface will feature ads (along with metadata), and targeting information—all of which will be available to view and research for the time frame of when an ad runs for up to one year after its last appearance to a user. A “TikTok Developers Account” must be created by any marketers who wish to use this service, which will then be considered for approval by members of the platform.


Currently, complete access to the Commercial Content Library is allowed to marketers of any country, but the only data that’s available is from Europe. As of this writing, TikTok’s goal is to eventually include advertising data from all over the world.


Why is TikTok being so proactive in the pursuit—and creation—of above-and-beyond best practices in transparency? Let’s turn the clock back…

Where TikTok was several months ago…

TikTok is an overwhelmingly popular social media site. Over the course of the last couple of years, however, this platform has aroused a lot of controversy in some circles. Due to privacy concerns and national security, TikTok—which was created by the China-based company ByteDance—has been under close investigation by Washington, D.C. In recent months, there have even been proposals and motions to altogether ban this platform.

TikTok gets transparent

Realizing its position, it’s very possible that TikTok wanted to make its operations—at least for advertising—above board, trackable, and visible through the creation and launch of the Commercial Content Library and Commercial Content API. Will this curb the outcry from critics? That’s too early to know, but this platform deserves credit for taking steps to be as transparent as possible. Who knows? In the competitive world of social media, maybe other sites will follow TikTok’s example.

Is your brand being promoted on TikTok? If you’ve had reservations about joining this platform because of the recent controversies over privacy, these recent developments should put your mind to rest. The Creative and Social Media teams at EGC have expertise in helping brands make their presences known. Check out one such example for client Jovia Financial. (And yes, it was created for TikTok.

Get in touch with EGC to find out how we can expand your brand’s reach on social media.