TikTok’s search results are on the verge of becoming inundated with advertisements. The company asserts that this feature will “enhance brand discovery.”
It’s a rather predictable phenomenon in our modern world that ads will find their way into every nook and cranny of our visual landscape. Case in point: TikTok has decided to integrate ads directly into its search results. This means that whenever you search for a hashtag, a specific user, or anything else, you’ll encounter branded content. These ads are sourced from sponsored videos within the platform and are intended to “further facilitate brand discovery.”
While some users might find this development slightly bothersome, the announcement assures that these ads will be pertinent to the search query and will be unmistakably labeled as sponsored content. These ads are likely to be drawn from your interests as reflected by your previous search queries and your interactions on the platform. Essentially, the algorithm will function similarly to how it always has, just in a new location.
One positive aspect is that clicking on a sponsored post won’t disrupt your search experience. These ads will mirror the familiar in-feed encounter, allowing users to seamlessly continue scrolling through the search results whether they engage with the ad or not. It’s safe to assume that a plethora of advertisers will participate, given that TikTok has confirmed that this feature will be automatically activated for existing merchants. Consequently, advertisers need to actively choose to opt out of appearing alongside search results.
The era of a pristine, ad-free search bar is gradually fading away, and this transformation has been a long time in the making. The move toward integrating ads into search results is hardly surprising, as competitors like Instagram embarked on similar ventures earlier in the year. It’s noteworthy that ads already find a place within the regular TikTok feed, nestled among videos posted by accounts you genuinely follow. This integration of advertising into search results, a concept that could have been imagined by advertising guru Don Draper himself, is now being rolled out globally to all TikTok users.