TikTok might be exploring an ad-free subscription plan

The folks at TikTok might be hoping users will pay up to get rid of pesky ads.

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TikTok might be exploring new ways to make the app more profitable by playing around with an ad-free subscription model. This isn't new for social media platforms. We've seen Snapchat introduce Snapchat+ and X (formally known as Twitter) introduce its Premium options as well, but this would be a new subscription offering for TikTok.

Hints of TikTok's subscription plans were initially spotted by Android Authority. According to the report, the latest version of TikTok came loaded with new strings of code that indicated the short-form video app is testing an ad-free monthly subscription plan for its users. Android Authority uncovered a screen that presented users with the choice of two different plans. There's the standard option, which will remain free and include personalized ads based on your activity. Then there's the "Ad-free" option, which will cost $4.99 per month.

As of right now, there has been no official announcement from TikTok. (Engadget has reached out for comment and we'll update the story if we hear back.) So it's safe to assume that this is just a test being conducted since it is currently only available to a limited number of users. TikTok may or may not actually take the plan public, and if it does it may also change the $4.99 price tag based on the feedback.

TikTok's drive toward increasing engagement and revenue is nothing new, but it seems the company has ramped up a bit. Earlier this year, TikTok introduced its marketplace — TikTok Shop — which brought a host of features for users, content creators and businesses. One of those features was the option for creators and businesses to drop affiliate videos directly into the feeds of users. This means the new ad-free tier may only remove ads served up by TikTok and not ones from influencers or their marketing campaigns.

Perhaps now we can all stop asking "How is this app still free?" because at this rate, no social media app will be completely free again