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Updates to TikTok’s Community Guidelines: What Businesses Need to Know

TikTok has become one of the primary social media platforms for businesses to advertise their products and services. Although TikTok has risen in popularity very quickly over the past few years, it is still very new and is regularly updating its community guidelines in order to create a safer space for users. However, several of the latest updates to TikTok’s community guidelines will affect businesses and their visibility to users. Here is what companies need to know about the updates and how they can ensure users are seeing their content. 

Updates that Affect Businesses

Most of the updates that have been added to TikTok’s community guidelines are prioritizing the safety of minors. However, the TikTok algorithm is still learning how to detect prohibited material which may put your business’s content at risk of not being seen by your target audience.

Unoriginal Content

TikTok has added a section stating that unoriginal and low-quality content will be pushed away from the For You page (FYP). This means that if you reupload something from another platform, TikTok will detect this and make it ineligible for recommendation on the FYP. This may help with spamming, especially involving bots. The guideline also details that TikTok will no longer prioritize videos that are standing pictures, especially those with a visible watermark from a different platform. 

So, how can businesses optimize their strategy and ensure their content is still visible on TikTok’s FYP? The simplest answer is that companies should not re-purpose media on Instagram Reels or on TikTok. If they plan to do this, it is important to edit each video in the specific app it is intended for. For example, do not upload an Instagram Reel onto TikTok, as it will have Instagram’s fonts and sound, which TikTok will recognize. 

Ineligible for the For You Page

Although everyone’s FYP is different, TikTok has created an “ineligible for the For You page” section in order to make the FYP a safer place for all users. This section includes anything that violates minors’ safety, dangerous stunts, overtly sexualized content, tobacco products, alcohol products, and violent/graphic content. All of this is still searchable, but will not be featured on the FYP. However, if some videos are in the public’s interest, TikTok will allow them.

Because TikTok’s algorithm is not 100 percent reliable, these new guidelines may push business’s content away from the FYP, even if it does not violate these rules. Businesses can ensure they are remaining visible to their audience by knowing their community’s hashtags, engaging in the community to entice users to check out their page, and working with influencers to help spread brand awareness. For when a business needs or wants to be on the FYP, it is important to not show their product. Instead, focus on the experience or benefits the product gives without showing the product itself. This can ensure FYP presence without potentially being flagged. 

Other Updates

While the other updates to TikTok’s community guidelines may not directly impact your business or presence on the FYP, it is still important to know what has changed.

Grooming Behaviors

As mentioned before, TikTok is committed to making their platform safer for minors. This is why they have added a section prohibiting grooming behaviors. This is defined as activity that solicits minors to connect with an adult on another platform. Any attempt to move a minor to another platform will now be detected. 

Overtly Sexualized Content

TikTok is now prohibiting overtly sexualized content as well. This includes “implied nudity, sexualized body parts, or anything blatantly erotic or sensual.” This type of content will be detected and flagged. 

Violent and Graphic Content

TikTok has also added to their violent and graphic content sections. Anything with “shock value” is not allowed on the platform. Additionally, multi-level marketing, phishing, ponzi schemes, defrauding, or smoking e-cigarettes are also not allowed. TikTok has also updated their definition of violent extremism and have emphasized on how they will ban any accounts that are a threat to public safety.

Hateful Behavior

Another update to TikTok’s community guideline includes the removal of any content involving anti-LGBTQIA, antisemitism, misogyny, or white supremacy. In doing so, TikTok has affirmed their commitment to making the platform a safe and positive place for all users.

Disordered Eating

TikTok is also prioritizing the health of its users. Updates to the disorder eating section state that any content that “promotes unhealthy eating behaviors or habits that are likely to cause adverse health outcomes is not allowed on the platform.” 

Add TikTok to Your Company’s Marketing Strategy

Looking to leverage your business on TikTok? Online Optimism’s social media team is well-versed in advertising in TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, and other platforms. Contact us today and learn about how your company’s marketing can reach new heights!

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