TikTok Starts Showing Ads and Sponsored content in Search Results
In an announcement made today, the company unveiled the capability for advertisers to position advertisements alongside the organic content that surfaces during app searches. Upon clicking on an ad, users can seamlessly proceed to scroll through search results presented in a format reminiscent of a feed. These ads are sourced from other videos that the brand is actively promoting on the platform.
These ads will feature a semitransparent “sponsored” label on the video thumbnail, clearly indicating their promotional nature. Here is what they will look like.
Similar to ads that are already interspersed as videos amidst organic content in users' For You feeds, these search ads will also bear the “sponsored” label. Notably, advertisers will find search ads enabled by default.
TikTok's move to incorporate ads within search results doesn't come as a surprise. This year, Instagram adopted a comparable approach by incorporating sponsored content tailored to a user's search. On Instagram, search ads come into view when a user clicks on a post and begins scrolling through additional content.
The inclusion of advertisements on TikTok's search pages implies the significance of this placement for advertisers. Among the younger demographic, TikTok is increasingly serving as a substitute for Google, aiding in the search for product recommendations, restaurants, or entertainment options. Surprisingly, it has proven to be more effective than anticipated.
However, it's important to note that TikTok's search functionality is not as sophisticated as Google Search. Queries based on keywords and hashtags often yield limited results.
Additionally, TikTok has faced challenges in effectively moderating content that prominently appears in search results. Notably, the platform confronted issues last year when certain videos promoting prescription drugs for weight loss surfaced in search results. TikTok removed all such content.