This morning, TikTok’s European General Manager, Rich Waterworth, shares an update on the platform’s continued growth and investment in Europe.
In just a few short years, TikTok has become a source of inspiration and entertainment, with over 150million people across Europe coming to our platform every month. TikTok is a place where creativity thrives, a space where anyone and everyone can express themselves, share their passion or even their profession. From book lovers and foodies, to emerging artists and farmers, culture is being remixed and reimagined in a uniquely TikTok way.– Rich Waterworth, European General Manager, TikTok
Creating real-world opportunity
In today’s update, Rich shares how TikTok prioritises content over social connections and has opened up incredible opportunities for businesses, artists and creators to harness TikTok’s creative potential to achieve their goals:
- Creator Benjy Kusi, aka @Benjy_LookBook, has built a community of over 200k followers (5M likes) on TikTok, using his account as a safe space to ask questions and educate his community on the topics of inclusion, wellbeing, Queerness and antiracism. This year Benjy published his first book entitled ‘Hope This Helps’ a self-help guide offers practical solutions for coping with everyday worries, anxieties and frustrations.
- British rapper Stepz found huge success on the platform and was last year crowned TikTok’s most viewed UK artist account. Stepz has built an impressive following of nearly 3m through a mixture of music and comedic content, and his viral TikTok hit ‘Cramp Dat’ brought his creativity to a global audience
- Cariad Ryan has gone from coffee shop worker to full-time creator thanks to TikTok Shop. Now collaborating with iconic brands such as Rimmel London, Cariad sold £90,000 worth of products in four hours during a LIVE shopping event last November
We fully recognise the importance of continuing to invest in Europe to support this thriving community. Over 5,000 people now work for TikTok in 10 countries across the region – Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden and the UK. Our employees span a diverse range of areas, from brand and creator engagement, e-commerce and music, to privacy, public policy, research and development, and safety.– – Rich Waterworth, European General Manager, TikTok
Fostering a culture of compliance
This level of local investment also extends to TikTok’s approach to keeping our European community and their data safe and secure, particularly in the context of new regulation.
Last week, TikTok submitted their first baseline report in accordance with the strengthened Code of Practice on Disinformation, providing over 2,500 data points on the implementation and enforcement of TikTok’s policies across 30 European countries. They are also been expanding their team with additional expertise and making key resources from across the business available to ensure their future compliance with the Digital Services Act (DSA).
Transparency is a key component of the DSA and we’ve supported the aims of the regulation from the outset as it mirrors the thinking that guides our quarterly Community Guidelines Enforcement Reports, where we provide insights into the nature of content and accounts removed from our platform. We’ll continue to enhance external visibility of the work we do to protect our community, including by opening our physical European Transparency and Accountability Centre in Dublin next month, where expert audiences will be able to learn more about our work to keep people on TikTok safe.– Rich Waterworth, European General Manager, TikTok
Delivering on data governance strategy
TikTok also remain focused on building trust with their community by demonstrating to them that their data is secure. They are continuing to deliver against the data governance strategy they set out for Europe last year, which includes further reducing employee access to European user data; minimising data flows outside of Europe; and storing European user data locally.
Regarding local data storage, in line with the growth of our community, we’re looking to expand our European data storage capacity. We are at an advanced stage of finalising a plan for a second data centre in Ireland with a third party service provider, in addition to the site announced last year. We’re also in talks to establish a third data centre in Europe to further complement our planned operations in Ireland. European TikTok user data will begin migrating this year, continuing into 2024.
It’s truly humbling to see how TikTok has become part of the culture and fabric of everyday life for people in Europe. We’re committed to continuing to accelerate real-world opportunity for our community while striving to set a new standard in safety and security to maintain TikTok as a place that excites and entertains for years to come.– Rich Waterworth, European General Manager, TikTok