Have you heard of TikTok? Do you know any kids that are using it? Is it the next big social media platform? This app is one of the most downloaded apps available now. Featuring 15-second videos with music, this app is mainly used by younger children (age 13 and up) as a way to lip-sync or dance to music in a short video. As the advent of memes and dance contests have arrived, more and more teens are flocking to the app. It’s even showing up as a club in high schools around the country.
According to the website, Konstruct Digital, as of June 2018, Tiktok has 500 million monthly active users and as of October 2018 had 40 million downloads in the U.S. Read more here about these stats and more.
TikTok has positioned itself as the next wave of video for mobile devices. Short videos are crafted for the end user. Their goal is to create a positive experience for all. TikTok states, “Our mission is to inspire creativity and bring joy.” It’s easy to use TikTok, which makes it even more appealing. Select everything from song clips to moments from TV shows, other TikTok videos and YouTube videos. It gives prompts and directions for you to make your videos. You can even just watch videos without creating an account-so if your kids and you just want to watch, them, that is a good option.
Recently, TikTok became the newest member of the FOSI (Family Online Safety Institute). https://newsroom.tiktok.com/en-us/family-online-safety-institute-welcomes-tiktok There are videos available to help parents navigate TikTok as well as tips and tricks. TikTok is working to keep the online experience safe for kids and their families. But is this enough? Already, there have been questionable videos, some bullying, and trolling. TikTok does and has taken down objectionable videos and has community guidelines in place, but it is up to the parents to monitor this site.
Make sure settings are set to private.
Turn off the location service.
Provide adult supervision and monitor the account.
We found a recent article to help all of us clueless parents and grandparents better navigate and understand TikTok and do everything we can to keep it safe and fun for them. Read more here. You might even decide to do a duet with your child and see what happens. From everything we’ve been reading, it’s a fun place for kids to express themselves.
Even those of us out of the age of children may have seen TikTok videos appear on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram (try searching #TikTok – not all are TikTok videos, but there many with that hashtag) with its TikTok musical note logo. These short videos can be shared on other platforms, however the majority of users stay on TikTok to view them. TikTok’s genius is that it’s built around videos you’ve watched and reacted too. It isn’t geared toward following certain people, unless you want to. It follows content you like and react with. Of course, there are influencers on TikTok, and TikTok is going to have to find a way to work with them and keep them happy. But you don’t have to find friends to show your videos to, it finds them for you, depending on the privacy settings put in place.
Will TikTok remain viable and able to compete? Will it be able to regulate itself and keep the trolls off? This is yet to be determined, but for now, why don’t you make a video with your kids and have some fun?
Image: *App logos, including TikTok’s. (Joel Saget/AFP/Getty Images)