[SMK] Social Media Knowledge


TikTok Launches Ad Library & Brand Safety Measures

The TikTok cheat sheet

Last year, when TikTok expanded its ad offering for brands, it kicked off with the slogan, “don’t make ads, make TikToks.”

But what does that mean exactly?

Well, essentially nothing, since everyone is just running ads on TikTok, much as they are in every other channel.

But, it is fair to say there are creative styles, narrative structures, and ad techniques that consistently perform better on TikTok. From harnessing user-generated content (UGC) to leveraging TikTok trends and maximising grassroots content. Either from influencers or, in some cases, even employees on the front line.

See Sephora, Starbucks and Chipotle TikTok shop floor staff examples here.

To help educate and inspire marketers, TikTok has launched a new tool, called Top Ads, which will help brands and marketers search for the best performing TikTok ad campaigns.

Helping creatives get their juices flowing and providing valuable pointers in the direction of TikTok best practices. It’ll also show the path to maximum engagement, and eventually, ROI.

You can search for listings across several different categories, including:

  • Ad type
  • Region
  • Industry

Searches can be filtered by time (the last seven days or the last 30 days) or by performance (CTR, six-second video view rate, impressions). Enabling marketers to dig down into which example is most relevant for their business.

At the moment, it is clear the new feature is in an early stage of development, but it will inevitably improve in time.

Not the first social ad library

TikTok is not the only social media platform to offer an ad library.

Facebook and LinkedIn offered the same service, while Twitter just removed theirs. Let’s have a little rundown of how each platform’s ad library worked.


Marketers can search the ad library for ads that are running across Facebook Products.

  1. Go to the Ad Library at https://www.facebook.com/ads/library.
  2. Make sure you have the correct country selected. In the top right of the Ad Library, you can select the country you’d like to view.
  3. Above the search bar, click All Ads.
  4. Enter what you’re looking for in the search bar.

Facebook allows ads to be split by platform, popularity and timeframe. Making it handy to carve up a rival's Instagram ads vs Facebook.

Inactive ads that were about politics, elections or issues can also be looked up. Facebook displays more detailed information about these ads, such as who funded them, their reach, and how much was spent to increase transparency.

These ads are stored for seven years.


LinkedIn’s ad library is more focused on making sure their adverts aren’t misused than giving brands and marketers game-changing insight.

LinkedIn Ads are viewable on any LinkedIn Page under the Posts tab. If a business is running paid campaigns, they are listed accordingly alongside organic posts.

LinkedIn’s ads tab is focused on transparency and allows members a look at all native ads that ran within the past six months on LinkedIn feed.

However, it doesn’t go into the same level of detail that Facebook does.


Twitter’s Ads Transparency Centre (ATC), which let anyone look at all the adverts being run on Twitter, has been removed.

The ATC was launched to provide more insight into political and issue ads on the platform, but Twitter says that goose has been cooked with the banning of political and issue ads.

Firms also used it as a research centre, but now that function has been taken away, which is a shame.

TikTok expands its brand safety efforts

On top of the TikTok Ads Library release, TikTok has also announced some new brand safety measures, providing marketers further comfort.

TikTok’s partnership with OpenSlate, which look after brand safety, has been expanded to include advertisers in Australia, the UK and Canada.

The expanded OpenSlate tie-up helps calm concerns that adverts could be displayed alongside material that brands don’t want to be associated with.

OpenSlate and TikTok partnered up in October 2020 with the remit to provide a safety solution that weeds out potentially damaging content or categories that may appear next to branded adverts.

Deals with WPP and research carried out by GroupM should further accelerate these brand safety changes in the future, which will help brands and marketers feel more at ease about buying advertising space on TikTok.

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