TikTok opens up research software to European researchers ahead of new EU rules

The move is in compliance with the Digital Services Act (DSA) that will come into effect in August.

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TikTok has opened its research software to European researchers ahead of the implementation of new EU regulations that require major tech companies to take stronger measures in monitoring online content. The move comes in response to the Digital Services Act (DSA), which imposes stricter requirements on 19 online platforms and search engines, including TikTok. The DSA requires large social platforms to open up their data and algorithms to outside scrutiny with the aim of achieving greater transparency.

The company is still awaiting technical guidance from the European Commission regarding the application programming interface (API) for accessing its data, but it decided to release its Research API and commercial content library proactively.

The research API, previously available to academic researchers in the United States, is now accessible to European researchers as well, provided they have their own TikTok for developers account and are based in either the US or Europe. Additionally, TikTok has granted researchers access to its commercial content API, offering transparency on paid advertising by providing information about paid ads and ad metadata.