TikTok, the short video app owned by ByteDance, has released a research API in the US market for non-profit academic researchers.
The purpose of opening this API is to increase transparency, as TikTok has been testing a research API since 2022 to meet the requirements of the US Content and Safety Advisory Board.
The research API allows access to user-generated content on TikTok and other information, such as user profiles, comments, likes, and collections. Researchers can use the API to study the social media habits of young users and the main ways in which these users access information.
However, gaining access to this data is difficult, as researchers must first obtain approval from the US Data Security Department (USDS), a subsidiary of TikTok established to meet US regulatory requirements for data security.
Once approved, researchers can use the API to read data from more than 120 million US TikTok users.