TikTok testing out an advert-free monthly subscription
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TikTok testing out an advert-free monthly subscription

TikTok confirms small test of an ad-free subscription tier outside the US

Video-sharing site TikTok is testing a new monthly subscription that would remove all adverts.

The Chinese company is currently testing its service in an English-speaking market outside the United States, according to theorctech sources. However, the company has refrained from specifying the exact location and has chosen not to comment further on the matter.

Subscriptions are being tested at $4.99 (£4.13).

Meta is reportedly considering ad-free subscriptions for EU residents to comply with the bloc’s advertising regulations.

Over 18-year-old users are now able to see personalized advertisements on TikTok. The trial has a limited scope, and there is no guarantee that a global subscription model will be implemented.

Several platforms, including YouTube and X (formerly Twitter), have already introduced ad-free experiences for a monthly fee. TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, reported a revenue of $85 billion in 2022, with an estimated $9.98 billion coming from advertising, according to research firm Insider Intelligence.

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Most of TikTok’s revenue comes from advertising, and so far, it hasn’t been affected by broader online advertising slowdowns.

TikTok Advert-free

Facebook and Instagram parent company Meta is considering charging European users who opt out of personalized ads. For desktop users, the proposed fee is €10 (£8.68) per month; for mobile users, it is €13. Meta aims to comply with evolving regulatory requirements following an EU ruling and a €390 million fine imposed by the Irish Data Protection Commission in January.

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Brooke Erin Duffy, an associate professor at Cornell University, suggests that younger users, accustomed to free social media services, might be resistant to paying for an ad-free experience. Maddie Hill, a famous influencer with 800,000 TikTok followers, finds TikTok ads less intrusive and is used to encountering ads on social media platforms.

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