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What TikTok’s new multi-session measurement capability means for advertisers

Stephanie Bissonnette
Stephanie Bissonnette
3 min read
20 July 2021

As one of the newest players in the social media field, TikTok ramped up its advertising solutions in 2019-2020. Many advertisers took a chance and ventured into the unknown on this platform, and they benefited from low costs and a new ability to reach Gen Z. During that time period, we at DEPT® Digital partnered with several forward-looking clients to test the waters and try to understand what TikTok’s advertising platform had to offer. We found that while general advertising costs were much lower on TikTok compared to Facebook and Instagram (with CPMs 80% lower), click-through rates were also 70% lower.

Up until very recently, TikTok was only able to report on single session, last-click events, which failed to provide insight into consumers’ actions after a video was viewed. This posed a serious challenge for brands that needed to back up their investment into this new digital platform with measurable KPIs. However, TikTok released an update at the end of Q2 that is music to the ears of direct response advertisers: multi-session measurement.

Now that TikTok’s tracking pixel monitors consumer activity across multiple sessions, the new measurement window for advertisers has expanded from single session, last-click attribution to 7-day click and 1-day view. In addition to this update, TikTok also now offers an advanced matching capability that ties conversion activities to consumers’ emails and phone numbers and other signals. As a new player in the space, this update allows TikTok’s measurement offerings to catch-up to industry players like Facebook and Snapchat. From an advertiser’s perspective, this allows for a more holistic measurement of TikTok campaigns that isn’t reliant on last-click data. We foresee this update allowing our brands to further scale efficiently and reach Gen Z audiences that continue to spend more time on the viral platform.

One caveat to mention with this promising update is that advertisers will not have multi-session visibility into all users. If a consumer on iOS 14.5+ opts-out of tracking via the AppTrackingTransparency prompt, TikTok will not deploy any user-level identifiers to match them in order to comply with Apple’s new self-imposed privacy regulations.

Between this multi-session update and the work going into expanding TikTok’s eCommerce products, we expect many more opportunities for brands to make meaningful connections with their customers via TikTok going forward.

Interested in how your brand can successfully advertise on TikTok to grow your audience and reach? Connect with our team for a customized testing proposal!

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Stephanie Bissonnette