Today, we're expanding access to our Research API to Europe and opening up new transparency tools for commercial content. These tools are designed to enhance transparency about content on our platform and are informed by feedback we're hearing from researchers and civil society.
Updating and expanding our Research API
Earlier this year, we released an initial version of our Research API to academic researchers in the US free of charge. Our goal is to make it easier to independently research our platform and bring transparency to TikTok content. Since then, we've had more than 60 applications from US non-profit academic researchers on topics related to consumer trends, misinformation, mental health and more. In the coming weeks, non-profit academic researchers in Europe will be able to apply for access to our Research API.
As we expand access, we're also rolling out improvements to our Research API based on feedback we've heard from the community. First, we're introducing Lab Access. More than half the applications we've received request collaboration with other researchers, so we'll soon be allowing up to 10 researchers to work together on a shared research project. All researchers will need to have their own TikTok for Developers account and be located in the US or Europe to access our Research API. Principal researchers will be able to submit a single application for collaborators from the same university. Projects involving multiple universities will need to submit separate applications for each school. Second, to make our submission process more seamless, we'll introduce an online webform for applications.
Introducing our Commercial Content Library
We're opening up our Commercial Content Library to bring transparency to paid advertising and other content that's commercial in nature on TikTok. The Commercial Content Library is a searchable database with information about paid ads and ad metadata, such as the advertising creative, dates the ad ran, main parameters used for targeting (e.g. age, gender), number of people who were served the ad, and more. It also includes information about content that's commercial in nature and tagged with either a paid partnership label or promotional label, such as content that promotes a brand, product or service, but is not a paid ad (learn more on our Help Center). We tested an early version of the Commercial Content Library with researchers and civil society to gather feedback over the last few months before making it more broadly available. From our tests and input from experts, we've added the ability to perform precise searches, included more targeting parameters, and improved data quality - among other updates.
We're also providing access to a Commercial Content API. Researchers will need to create a TikTok Developers account and submit an application to access the Commercial Content API which we review to help prevent malicious actors from misuing this data. While anyone can access the Commercial Content Library, at this time, only data from Europe is available. We plan to include more advertising data from more countries in the future. More information about this API is available on TikTok for Developers.
We value feedback on where we can improve both APIs. We'll continue to respond with updates to better support independent research and transparency into TikTok.