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TikTok is testing an ad-free monthly subscription plan (Update: Confirmation)

For $4.99 per month in the testing phase, users will be able to enjoy an ad-free TikTok experience.
By

Published onOctober 3, 2023

Tiktok stock photo on smartphone
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
TL;DR
  • Code within the TikTok app indicates that TikTok is testing an ad-free monthly subscription plan.
  • The plan currently costs $4.99 per month in the US in this testing phase, though pricing could change when the feature rolls out widely.
  • TikTok has confirmed a test of this plan, albeit disputing a full product launch.

Update, October 3, 2023 (03:16 AM ET): TikTok has confirmed to TechCrunch that it is indeed testing this ad-free monthly subscription. However, the service mentions that the testing is limited to a single English-speaking market outside the USA. The service disputes our report that the test is coming to the USA, as “small-scale tests don’t indicate a product launch is inevitable.”


Original article, October 2, 2023 (08:47 AM ET): TikTok gets much credit for popularizing short-format video content on social media. The threat from TikTok is so real that other social media apps had to incorporate short format videos into their apps, alongside video editing tools for creators. So, it wouldn’t be wrong to call TikTok a trendsetter. But now TikTok seems to be the one aping a trend from a few other social media apps, as it has started offering users an ad-free monthly subscription option.

We located new strings in the latest version of the TikTok app that indicated that the short-form video content service was going to offer an ad-free monthly subscription plan as an option to its users.

Code
We are testing the Ad-free plan with the TikTok community.
By continuing, you agree to the {%s} and acknowledge that you have read our {%s} to learn how we collect, use and share data.
You also accept the immediate provision of the Ad-free subscription. Price includes VAT.
Code
Allow us to use your data to show you relevant ads, which helps keep TikTok free. %s.
You can also see how we use and protect your data in our %s

Launching the new app version presented us with this new ad-free tier for subscription. As you can see, the ad-free TikTok experience would cost users $4.99 per month in the USA during this testing phase.

TikTok ad free subscription plan 1
Hadlee Simons / Android Authority

We could not get the same screen to appear on all of our accounts. No official announcement has been spotted from TikTok at the time of writing. Thus, we presume that this is a limited test at the moment, and depending on its success, it may or may not be rolled out to more users. Since this is the testing phase, final pricing could differ when the feature goes live for the public.

We’ve reached out to TikTok for a comment, and we’ll update the article as soon as we hear from them.

TikTok has largely been ad-driven so far. The platform has a few revenue-sharing mechanisms for creators, and it also has a direct Live Subscription feature that allows users to subscribe directly to a creator. This is the first time the social media/short-form video content app is accepting money directly for an ad-free user experience.

Would you pay for an ad-free TikTok?

255 votes

Platforms like X (formerly known as Twitter) also have an ad-free tier in the form of X Premium (formerly known as Twitter Blue). But the Premium subscription offers other benefits, including access to monetization on the platform. It remains to be seen how TikTok sets its subscription apart outside of an ad-free experience.

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