TikTok focuses on brand safety and shopping ahead of the holidays

gave marketers a closer look at the brand safety controls it has been working on for months, as well as a host of new commerce tools to fuel in-app ahead of the holidays.

The Chinese-owned app hosted its first virtual public product event, known as TikTok World, on Tuesday. After a rocky start that left registrants locked out of the event for up to 40 minutes, TikTok showcased its creators, discussed its branding and reach and highlighted its commerce tools.

TikTok, which claimed this week to have topped 1 billion users for the first time, has quickly become one of the hottest apps in brands’ marketing strategies.

But like other social media platforms, most notably Facebook, TikTok must also contend with combating controversial content on its platform that brands may want to avoid. Facebook has been in the spotlight for some of the ill effects of disinformation and teen safety on its products, especially Instagram. TikTok has been also blasted recently for potential problems with its algorithms sharing videos about drugs and sex with its young user base. Now, TikTok is trying to show brands that it is adopting more brand safety mechanisms with third parties to help marketers vet their media on platforms.

This is especially important as TikTok wants to maintain a healthy atmosphere that promotes shopping.

To this end, TikTok announced new brand safety tools, like Filter, which is built on machine-learning technology that classifies video, text, audio and more based on the level of risk. This allows advertisers to make decisions about which kind of inventory they’d like to run adjacent to and avoid.

“And to further ensure that we’re meeting global, industry-wide expectations, we have aligned the Inventory Filter with the GARM Brand Safety and Suitability Framework,” TikTok wrote in a blog post.

TikTok also announced partnerships with Integral Ad Science and Zefr, which addresses brand suitability on video platforms, meant to ensure brands’ campaigns run next to verified content. TikTok already has a partnership with OpenSlate, a measurement and analytics company, since 2020. It is expanding its OpenSlate relationship to additional countries and buying types like Auction and Reach and Frequency.

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