In one of its latest efforts to position itself as a performance solution and steal more share from rivals including Meta and YouTube, TikTok is introducing a new ad unit that will charge advertisers only when an ad is watched.*
With the new Focused View ad format, to be formally launched today during the social video platform’s TikTok World global product event, brands will pay only for ads that are watched for at least six seconds or are interacted with within the first six seconds, whichever comes first.
Focused View, designed with retailers in mind, “means that ads are shown to users who are truly paying attention and voluntarily engaging with the brand,” a TikTok rep notes in an email. “In an ever-changing digital marketing world where returns on ad spend are increasingly valued, Focused View offers a way for brands to engage with their audiences more effectively and cost-efficiently.”
Positioned as the next generation of TikTok’s Video View campaign objective on TikTok Ads Manager, Focused View resembles YouTube’s practice of not charging advertisers for ads that users choose to skip. YouTube introduced the practice back in 2010 in tandem with its launch of the TrueView ad format, which allows users to click “skip ads.”
With advertisers putting greater focus on performance strategies, as well as attribution and return on advertising spend, as consumers trim spending in an uncertain economy, TikTok is betting that the new unit's long-term benefits in attracting and retaining advertisers will outweigh the revenue lost on unwatched ads.
TikTok has had difficulty proving itself as a performance platform, as opposed to an awareness/upper-funnel driver, but has said it plans to continue introducing performance tools to help brands better gauge user engagement with their ads.
TikTok recently launched Shopping Ads — new formats that can be used to highlight products in in-feed video ads with smart targeting and optimized ad delivery.
During TikTok World, the company will also be bowing numerous updates to its creator marketplace and new tools for entertainment brands and creators.
*Correction: The piece originally wrongly stated that TikTok would not charge for unviewed ads across all of its advertising. The policy applies only to the new Focused View ad unit.