What both families and businesses should know about TikTok

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Even if you’ve never used TikTok, you’ve probably heard of it, perhaps through a teenage relative or friend who seems obsessed with it.

After all, this social networking app has grown hugely in popularity since it was launched back in 2016 by the Chinese company ByteDance.

Today, TikTok has 500 million monthly active users, as The Drum reports – and, in the UK alone, TikTok attracts more than two billion views daily. As a parent, should you be concerned about your child using it? As a business, should you seriously consider marketing on it?

A short-form video creation app resplendent in features

The enjoyment of using TikTok starts with downloading its app; so, what’s the TikTok app? It’s essentially a video creation app much along the lines of Vine, which you might remember going kaput back in 2017. TikTok is, in many ways, its spiritual successor.

The TikTok app’s core functionality lets users make short-form videos of a musical slant, pepper this footage with an array of pleasing visual effects – filters, lenses and AR elements are among the options – and then upload the results to the social network for other users to see.

However, people who see that content can post on it, too – at least under the default settings. This is where problems can arise for young people who might not be aware of how to use the app in a safety-conscious manner. What, then, should parents watch out for?


Teach your kids how to use TikTok safely

Rest assured that, if your child is younger than 13 years of age they shouldn’t be on TikTok anyway, according to the network’s own rules. While it’s technically possible for someone to simply lie about their age to get onto the app, TikTok has informed the BBC’s Newsround that, if they detect this kind of foul play, they will cancel the underage user’s account.

If your child is eager to use TikTok and above the age threshold, remind them that they can make their account private if they are worried about what unscrupulous types might see it or comment on it. Other options include filtering who sees the user’s posts or limiting the comments that can be left.

TikTok: a promising new marketing playground for businesses?

Whether your business should be marketing on TikTok is affected by what type of business it is and what audience it is targeting. As Business News Daily has reported that more than 40% of TikTok app’s userbase consists of 10-to-19-year-olds, you could easily reach out to Generation Z.

Still, whether you genuinely impress Generation Z members once you have caught their attention is another question. Keep in mind that the polished approach you bring to your firm’s Instagram content is unlikely to resonate quite as strongly on TikTok, as it’s a more shamelessly quirky space. 

Therefore, your chances of success can depend on getting the approach right – but, if video is crucial to your social media strategy, TikTok could soon be just as crucial to you.

 

Tech Digest Correspondent