TikTok makes Business Ad Manager self-serve, but future of platform in U.S. remains uncertain

The company is offering $100 million in ad credits to support small and mid-sized businesses impacted by the pandemic.

TikTok

TikTok rolled out its self-serve Business Ad Manager to all advertisers this month, giving mid-sized and small businesses new ways to connect with the millions of users flocking to the platform. In addition to making its ad manager available globally, the company launched a “Back-to-Business” ad credit program, offering $100 million in ad credits to SMBs “uniquely at risk” during the current economic crisis.

TikTok’s ad manager offers advertisers a suite of creative tools to set up and run campaigns, with targeting capabilities, flexible budget features and a business accounts tool to show performance analysis and engagement with audiences.

TikTok self-serve advertising features

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“The TikTok for Business Ads Manager empowers businesses of all sizes to reach their ideal customers on TikTok through a simple interface,” writes the company on its news blog, “With new creative tools and performance features designed with small businesses in mind, it’s now easier than ever to start activating at scale on the platform.”

The independent jewelry brand Slate and Tell reports it achieved its return on advertising spend goals within days of using TikTok’s self-serve ad platform – a milestone that has taken months on other social platforms, according to the company’s CEO, Isaac Gad.

Slate and Tell TikTok video example

We see endless potential on TikTok and wanted to get in early to start building our presence this summer in preparation for peak holiday season.

Isaac Gad, CEO of Slate and Tell

TikTok is popular in the U.S., but there continues to be national security concerns

The video-sharing social app owned by the Beijing-based technology company ByteDance was downloaded more the 315 million times during the second quarter of this year, reaching a total two billion downloads, reports The Verge. The app’s popularity is attracting attention from advertisers, but also causing concern for many who believe it poses a security risk.

In early July, White House officials said they were looking at banning TikTok, along with other Chinese-owned social media apps. Wells Fargo has directed its employees to delete TikTok from their work phones, according to an NBC news report, citing security and privacy issues. Amazon is another company that was reported to have made employees remove TikTok from their mobile devices, but then backtracked their decision.

TikTok has refuted these security concerns. In response to the White House’s statement that it was looking into banning the app, a TikTok spokesperson told CNN, “TikTok is led by an American CEO, with hundreds of employees and key leaders across safety, security, product, and public policy here in the U.S. We have no higher priority than promoting a safe and secure app experience for our users. We have never provided user data to the Chinese government, nor would we do so if asked.”

Mobile security expert Will Strafach believes TikTok’s data collection practices lack any real security issues. In a recent Wired article, Strafach said, for Western audiences, the iOS version of the app appears to collect standard analytics – details like the user’s device model, screen resolution, operating system and time zone. According to Strafach, “TikTok appears to be pretty tame compared to the other apps.” 

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Akvile DeFazio is the President of AKvertise, a social media advertising agency. She specializes in Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Twitter Ads. Follow @AkvileDeFazio