TikTok will begin blocking links to app store pages in creator bios

TikTok will begin blocking links to app store pages in creator bios

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TikTok has begun blocking links to app stores in creator bios, TechCrunch has learned and the company has confirmed. The block, which will have a significant impact on CPI (cost-per-install) campaign deals between creators and brands, also extends to third-party link-in-bio solutions such as Linktree.

The change was first noticed by Sendit co-founder David Tesler, who he noted on Twitter he and others tested the functionality on several accounts and found that the links no longer worked to redirect clicks to the App Store. Instead, when clicked on, the links display an “operation cannot be performed” message.

Tesler also noted that the only exception to the problem were accounts that had an advertising relationship with TikTok.

While TikTok has not given an official statement about this recent change, the company has confirmed that personal creator accounts will no longer be able to link to app store pages. However, they will still be able to link to websites as before.

In the future, only TikTok business accounts will be able to link to app store pages. There is no charge for this feature – in other words, businesses don’t have to pay to add a link or agree to advertise on the platform to take advantage of this feature.

Additionally, TikTok says it’s introducing a new “Download App” button for business accounts — and it’s also a non-advertising product.

The company believes this change will improve clarity between business and personal accounts by making their services more distinct. But it’s also clearly an incentive to divert more of the ad dollars that currently flow to creators through campaigns to go directly into TikTok’s coffers instead. Now, businesses that want to direct TikTok users to their app’s listing on the App Store will likely want to advertise the account with the functional link.

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In recent years, TikTok has had an increasing influence on the App Store charts — sometimes artificially boosting the real-world popularity of certain apps as a flood of TikTok users rush to install the app from a marketing campaign. These users don’t always stick around after the first install, but the rate of new downloads would put the app on the top charts so others could discover it. With this change, TikTok-driven installs in the app stores could decrease, as creators would not be able to run the same types of campaigns as before.

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