Popular short-video platform TikTok announced on Thursday that it’s launching an ads transparency library and expanding access to its Research API to researchers across Europe.
As reported by TechCrunch, the news reflects the ByteDance-owned company’s efforts to comply with the upcoming requirements of the European Union’s Digital Services Act (DSA).
‘’Today, we’re expanding access to our Research API to Europe and opening up new transparency tools for commercial content,’’ the company said in its announcement article. ‘’These tools are designed to enhance transparency about content on our platform and are informed by feedback we’re hearing from researchers and civil society.’’
TikTok first launched the initial version of its Research API to academic researchers in the United States earlier this year to ‘’make it easier to independently research [its] platform and bring transparency to TikTok content.’’
In addition to its expansion to Europe, the company is also introducing new improvements for the Research API, such as the new Lab Access feature which will allow up to 10 researchers to team up and work together on a shared project.
Commercial Content Library & Commercial Content API
The Commercial Content Library, on the other hand, ‘’is a searchable database with information about paid ads and ad metadata, such as the advertising creative, dates the ad ran, main parameters used for targeting (e.g. age, gender), number of people who were served the ad, and more’’, TikTok explains. ‘’It also includes information about content that’s commercial in nature and tagged with either a paid partnership label or promotional label, such as content that promotes a brand, product or service, but is not a paid ad.’’
The company said that it tested an early version of the Commercial Content Library for a few months prior to the launch, collaborating with and gathering feedback from researchers and civil society.
In addition, the company also announced that it’s rolling out access to its Commercial Content API, which only includes data from Europe for now. However, the company is planning to update it in the future to include more advertising-related data from more countries around the world. You can check out this page to learn more about the Commercial Content API and how to gain access to it.