Global media sensation TikTok will take center stage in 2020 as marketers and publishers pursue its estimated billion-plus users, many of them hailing from Gen Z. But along with great interest comes great responsibility as ByteDance’s TikTok deals with the inevitable big demands that come with big budgets. If history is any guide, TikTok will be in for a rough 2020.

While TikTok’s rise has been rapid — it surpassed more than 1.5 billion app downloads, according to Sensor Tower  –growing pains are an inevitability for TikTok as it attempts to reach marketplace parity as an ad-supported platform. TikTok ran its first official ad campaign just a year ago and has since seen an influx of ads on its platform within the last six months, while testing a number of features designed to make things easier for advertisers.

By sometime next year, TikTok is expected to roll out a self-serve ad model that’s currently in beta testing that will make it that much easier for marketers to buy ads, without having to go through the TikTok sales team like they do currently.

“Their self-serve platform is a good start,” said Carly Carson, director of social for PMG, “but we would love to see some more advanced targeting opportunities, like being able to target outside of age and demographic and potentially integrate CRM. We would love to see those get built in.”

“I think part of what makes TikTok so great is the content all feels so authentic to the platform,” said Carson. “I would hate to see that get watered down by too much ad inventory.”

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