With such a large amount of social networks to keep track of, it’s not surprising if your kid’s obsession with the TikTok app leaves you scratching your head. So what is it exactly?
TikTok – Real Short Videos is a free social media app that lets you watch, create, and share videos — usually to a soundtrack of the top hits in music — right from your phone. It was originally offered as musical.ly within the U.S.A. however was rebranded once the two apps merged in August 2018. With over one hundred million users, TikTok is unbelievably popular, owing in part to its slick mash-up of features from other kid favorites. As with the lip-synching app Dubsmash, users can watch and record videos of themselves lip-synching to popular music and sound bites. As they did on the now-defunct vine, youngsters can create short, shareable videos ranging from funny to serious. And just like YouTube, TikTok is an interactive world of videos that allows you to connect with friends and admirers through likes, comments, and even duets.
TikTok – Real Short Videos even spawns its own celebrities. Almost overnight, musical.ly sensations like Baby Ariel and Jacob Sartorius have gained internet fame, especially with children and teenagers.
But with so much info out there, it can be a challenge for parents to know if it’s really safe. Whereas TikTok videos are mostly harmless, creative fun, there are real concerns regarding children using the app. like any social network, you have got to use privacy settings to limit how much info you and your children are sharing. Youngsters can post stuff without reviewing or editing it first. There have even been reports of online predators using the app to target younger users.
Read common sense Media’s full review of TikTok – Real Short Videos, and help your children use it safely with answers to parents’ most frequently asked questions below.
TikTok is a social network for sharing user-generated videos, mostly of individuals lip-synching to popular songs. It was originally known as musical.ly (pronounced MU-zik-lee). Users can create and upload their own videos where they lip-sync, sing, dance, or just talk. You can additionally browse and interact with other users’ content, which covers a large range of topics, songs, and styles.
Using any social network can be risky; however it’s possible for kids to safely use the app with adult supervision (and a private account). Once you sign up for TikTok, your account is public by default, which means anyone can see your videos, send you direct messages, and use your location info. Parents should ensure to turn on all privacy settings for accounts kids are using, thus only people you know can interact with your videos or message you on the app.
TikTok users sign up with a phone number, an email address, Facebook, or Instagram. Once logged in, you’ll be able to search popular creators, categories (comedy, animals, sports), and hashtags to seek out videos. or you will use your phone contacts or social media followers to seek out friends already on the app. many youngsters on TikTok like to create videos, however lots of people don’t post themselves — they merely use the app to find and follow content creators.
Because of TikTok’s emphasis on popular music, many videos include swearing and sexual lyrics, therefore it may not be age-appropriate for kids to use on their own. It’s additionally simple to find people wearing revealing clothing and dancing suggestively, though TikTok won’t let you search for objectionable content such as “sex” or “porn.” If you supervise your children and stick to songs you already know from the radio, TikTok can be a kid-friendly experience. As of 2019, in response to a lost lawsuit, the developers created a separate section of the app for youths under thirteen that solely permits them to access curated, clean videos: They can’t comment, search, or post their own videos. However, bypassing that section only requires entering a false birthdate.
Common Sense recommends the app for age 16+ mainly due to the privacy problems and mature content. TikTok requires that users be at least thirteen years old to use the app and that anyone under the age of eighteen must have approval of a parent or guardian — however there are plenty of young tween users. If your younger kid or tween wants to use the app, the account should belong to an adult who will monitor what younger users are browsing and sharing. There’s additionally the section of the app mentioned above that’s meant for kids under thirteen that restricts access to mature content and comments, however since entering a false birthdate is simple, it’s still best for older teens.
To make your TikTok account private, head to your profile page and select the three-dot icon within the top-right corner. Select Privacy and Safety. There, toggle the switch for “Private Account.” you can also edit who can send you comments and direct messages, and who can do a duet with you.
To delete a TikTok video that you have posted to your account, choose the video you wish to delete from your profile. From there, tap the “. ” icon in the bottom-right corner and select Delete or the trash can icon. You will be asked if you’re sure you want to delete the video. Then it’ll be removed from your profile.
In order to delete a TikTok account, head to your profile, then select the “. ” icon within the top-right corner. Select Manage My Account. From there, you must add a phone number if you haven’t already. This must be a working number, as they will text you a code to verify the number and later to verify deleting the account. Once you’ve added a phone number, an option at the bottom of the Manage My Account menu will appear, asking, “Thinking about removing your account?” tap the phrase, which will lead you to a brand new page prompting you to enter a verification code. Choose “Send Code” to receive a text message with the verification code. Enter the number, and then select Continue. You will be given info on what’s entailed in deleting the account. Select Continue yet again for a final confirmation that you want to delete your account, then tap Delete Account.
You can provide a buffer between kids and iffy content by watching together with your kids and making videos together. Offer to hold the camera or turn it around to do a selfie duet. You can post it or save it as “private” so only you can see. The app additionally allows you to share videos by email, text, or other social media where you’ll be able to better control that sees it; therefore kids can perform for friends and relatives rather than a wider network of people.
TikTok has a feature that allows two users who aren’t within the same place to perform a duet. Both users should follow each other to make it work. One user creates and posts a video, then a mutual follower can tap the “. ” icon at the bottom right of the video and select “start duet now!” The second user can then lip-synch along with the first person, either swapping back and forth or in a split screen.
In addition to blocked search terms, TikTok also offers Digital wellbeing features to assist limit time spent on the app and limit the looks of videos that may be inappropriate. To turn these options on, tap the three dots at the top right of your user profile. Then select “Digital Wellbeing” next to the icon of an umbrella. The options are automatically protected by a four-digit pass code so children can’t turn them off on their own. From there, parents can choose to activate Screen Time Management, which limits users to two hours on the app per day, and Restricted Mode, which blocks some content. Keep in mind, Restricted Mode isn’t foolproof, and even with the filter on, children using the app on their own might stumble upon age-inappropriate videos.
Other than Restricted Mode, there’s no way to filter content on TikTok, so parents are encouraged to share an account with children under the age of thirteen. This will allow you to keep a watch on what your child is viewing and posting. Parents of older kids who are more resistant to monitoring can ask about their favorite video creators and get to understand their videos (with or without your kid). Also, take the time to regularly have a look at the most popular songs, videos, and challenges.
While the safest way to use TikTok is with a private account, the social nature of the app and the rapid success of its stars might have your children begging to set it to public. There’s large enticement to get famous, that could encourage children to do things they wouldn’t normally do to get a bigger audience. They may additionally become obsessed with “likes” and virtual approval. Encourage and model safe behavior, and ensure to set limits on the type of information your child shares.