TikTok has confirmed that it will no longer permit app store links to be included in user profiles. Co-founder of Sendit David Tesler first noticed the shift and tweeted about it. According to a tweet by Tesler, “TikTok is blocking links to the app store and screwing over their own creators.” He recorded a video that appears to show the “Action can’t be completed” error message that is displayed when the app store link in the bio is clicked.
TikTok’s block will have a major impact on the CPI (Cost Per Install) campaign deals between creators and brands on the platform. Third-party link-in-bio tools that facilitate the posting of links to products on a user’s bio will also be subject to the new restrictions.
Although TikTok has yet to issue a formal statement on the matter, the company has confirmed that individual creator accounts will no longer be able to include links to app store pages. They can, however, still link out to external websites.
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Only business accounts on TikTok will soon be able to share links to their apps’ respective stores. There won’t be any cost associated with using this feature; companies won’t have to pay to add the link or sign up for advertising to take advantage of it.
TikTok also announces the release of a new “Download app” button for use by business accounts; this feature is not an advertisement.
The company hopes that by making these changes, the differences between business and personal accounts will become more apparent. It’s also an obvious attempt to redirect the advertising dollars that are currently being paid out to creators through campaigns into TikTok’s own bank account. Now, businesses can use advertisements to direct TikTok users to their app’s App Store listing.
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The popularity of some apps on the Top Charts of the App Store may be inflated artificially in recent years due to marketing campaigns that encourage TikTok users to download the app.
While it’s true that many of these users won’t return after the initial download, the sheer volume of new installs is enough to propel the app to the top of the charts, where it can be seen by even more people. If creators can’t run the same kinds of campaigns on TikTok, it’s possible that less people will download the app from the app stores.
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