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Supporting independent research and content transparency

Supporting independent research

Research API overview

TikTok is working to enhance transparency with the research community. As part of our efforts to stay accountable to how we moderate and recommend content, we’ve built an API that includes public data on content and accounts on our platform. This API will be made available to researchers globally, starting with academic researchers in the United States and expanding to additional regions and to include NGO researchers as we build capacity.

What to expect

In Phase 1, we offered Research API access to some members of our Content and Safety Advisory Councils, who provided valuable feedback on usability, data quality, and applicability to a range of research use cases. In Phase 2, we have incorporated that feedback and improved the functionality of our API. Today, we are opening an application for API access to US-based researchers.

For researchers outside the US, please keep an eye out for future announcements as we expand its availability. Please note that for researchers not from institutions in the US, your application won’t be processed till we further expand our offering to non-US regions.

What data will be available

With the Research API, researchers can access:

  • Public account data, such as user profiles, comments, performance data, such as number of comments, likes, and favorites that the user receives
  • Public content data, such as comments, captions, subtitles, performance data, such as number of comments, shares, likes, and favorites that the video receives
  • Public data for keywords search results

How to apply for Research API access

How to apply

For more information on how to apply for Research API access, visit the TikTok for Developers website.

Please be aware that in this phase we are ONLY opening up to researchers affiliated with US non-profit academic institutions. Applications from researchers outside of the US will not be considered until we open up applications for more regions.

  1. If you have not already done so, please create an account on TikTok for Developers using your .edu email address.
  2. Download the application form here.
  3. Fill in the application form and send it to using the .edu email address associated with your TikTok for Developers account.

You will hear back from us within 3 to 4 weeks from submitting the application.

How to qualify for access

Qualifications are based on a series of considerations – you can find more details in our Terms of Service. Here are some key criteria we consider:

  • The applicant has demonstrable academic experience and expertise in the research area specified in the application
  • The applicant has no conflicts of interest with respect to using the Services
  • The applicant is employed by a US non-profit academic institution
  • The applicant is able to provide a clearly defined research proposal
  • The applicant is committed to only using data for non-commercial purposes


For any inquiries and questions, feel free to reach out to

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