TikTok spotted testing native video ads

TikTok is testing a new ad product: a sponsored video ad that directs users to the advertisers website. The test was spotted in the beta version of the U.S. TikTok app, where a video labeled Sponsored from the bike retailer Specialized is showing up in the main feed, along with a blue Lean More button that directs users to tap to get more information.
Presumably, this button could be customized to send users to the advertisers website or any other web address, but for the time being it only opened the Specialized Bikes (@specializedbikes) profile page within the TikTok app.
TikTok spotted testing native video ads

However, the profile page itself also sported a few new features, including what appeared to be a tweaked version of the verified account badge.
Below the @specializedbikes username was Specialized Bikes Page and a blue checkmark (see below). On other social networks, checkmarks like this usually indicate a user whose account has gone through a verification process of some kind.
Typical TikTok user profiles dont look like this they generally only include the username. In some cases, weve seen them sport other labels like popular creator or Official Account but these have been tagged with a yellowish-orange checkmark, not a blue one.
In addition, a pop-up banner overlay appeared at the bottom of the profile page, which directed users to Go to Website followed by another blue Learn More button.
Oddly, this pop-up banner didnt show up all the time, and the Learn More button didnt work it only re-opened the retailers profile page.
TikTok spotted testing native video ads

As for the video itself, it features a Valentines Day heart that you can send to a crush, and, of course, some bikes.
The music backing the clip is Breakbots By Your Side, but is labeled Promoted Music. Weirdly, when you tap on the Promoted Music youre not taken to the soundbite on TikTok like usual, but instead get an error message saying Ad videos currently do not support this feature.

Rolling through TikTok and got an ad from Specialized Bikes that just takes you to their profile when you tap Learn more but then brings up video ads do not support this feature when you tap on the promoted music track.
Jeff Higgins (The Cool One) (@ItsJeffHiggins) February 14, 2019
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