TikTok is testing an ad-free version of their app - how much will it cost you, is it available in the UK?

 A small scale test is being carried out on the popular social media site
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Adverts are annoying when you’re scrolling through your social media feed - they just get in the way when all you want to see is engaging content from those you follow.

It seems TikTok wants to stop the irritation of their users, as it’s reported that the bosses behind the hugely popular app are trialling an ad-free version of their app. That’s the good news. The less than good news is that if you want this version, it’ll cost you.

TikTok has confirmed to TechCrunch that it is testing this ad-free monthly subscription. However, the testing is limited to a single English-speaking market outside the USA and a spokesperson stated that “small-scale tests don’t indicate a product launch is inevitable.” 

They did not confirm which country is being used for the test, or any other details such as how long the test will last and if there are any plans to roll it out further. No official announcement about the plan for a paid for ad-free plan, or the testing phase, has been made by TikTok at the time of writing.

Screenshots shared by TechCrunch show that users will be asked to pick between the standard free plan, which will include personalised ads based on their TikTok activity, or an ad-free plan, which will cost $4.99 (just over £4) a month.

TikTok is testing a paid for ad-free version of their app. Image by Adobe Photos.TikTok is testing a paid for ad-free version of their app. Image by Adobe Photos.
TikTok is testing a paid for ad-free version of their app. Image by Adobe Photos.

The subscription appears to only cover ads served by TikTok, not influencer marketing one-offs or campaigns, however. This means that it will still allow users to see brand sponsorship content from other users where this sponsorship has not been declared.

TikTok is not the only social media platform to consider offering different plans to their users, including paid for ad-free subscriptions. X-owner Ellon Musk has said in the past that he wants to offer a “higher priced” subscription tier that shows zero ads on X, which was previously called Twitter. That hasn’t happened yet, but the company says X Premium subscribers get “approximately 50 percent fewer ads” on their timelines. Reports also indicate Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram, may also offer an ad-free version on both of these platforms in the EU in response to regulators’ concerns about data privacy.

If TikTok does roll out the paid for ad-free plan to all users worldwide, it would be the first time the social media site would ask users for money directly in exchange for an ad-free user experience. At the moment, however, TikTok makes most of its revenue through advertising so it would remain to be seen which alternative revenue streams bosses would use.

News of the trial comes days after TikTok reported they found and removed thousands of fake accounts with ‘divisive views’ made to stir up conflict in Ireland, and also weeks after bosses were fined £296 million by Ireland watchdog over how it processed children’s data and four TikTok vape ads were removed from the social media site for violating guidelines.

For even more TikTok based news, you can check out our dedicated TikTok news page.

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