TikTok Limits Teen Ad-Targeting Methods

Among the recent updates related to privacy and improvements in advertiser accountability as well as enhanced transparency control changes, TikTok announced it is modifying the way advertisers are able to target users in the U.S. who are between 13 and 17 years of age. 

According to the ByteDance-owned company, advertisers “will not be able to reach teens in the United States using any personalized targeting and campaign selections.” 

Now, advertisers will only be able to reach teens using “a few broad targeting options, such as location, language, and device-related information,” TikTok explained in a recent blog post.

The update follows similar changes made by competing social-media companies in the past including Meta, which introduced the same advertising limitations last year across Instagram and Facebook -- acknowledging that teens are less aware than adults about how their data is being used for advertising, especially when it involves products available for purchase.



However, compared to Instagram and Facebook, TikTok has a larger percentage of teen users, with 25% of its audience between 10 and 19 years of age.

As a result, the new limitations may make more of an impact on advertisers’ overall targeting strategies and outcomes. 

Additional changes included in TikTok’s update may also skew advertisers’ targeting strategies when attempting to reach younger users on the platform.

Users now have the ability to see more or fewer ads related to their interests in specific categories such as “Outdoor Sports” or “Racing Games,” with the option to customize their overall ad topics as well. 

To provide more transparency and controls to users, TikTok also launched a “Disconnect Advertisers” feature that allows users to stop future off-platform data shared by specific advertisers from being used to serve them personalized ads.

“Clear My Activity” also lets users disconnect from any off-TikTok activity data shared by ad partners associated with their account.

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