Chinese video platform TikTok took over Musical.ly, merging the two app powerhouses. It is used to create short dance, lip-sync, comedy and talent videos, and surprisingly, some kids are also using it to advocate for issues and causes. TikTok is available in over 150 countries, has over 1 billion users, and has been downloaded over 175 million times in the United States alone.
TikTok and Media Literacy? Heck Yeah!!!
TikTok partnered with the National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) to develop this "Be Informed" series to help youth know what to do when and if they encounter misinformation online, we HIGHLY recommend you watch and share these with your kids:
What Parents Need to Know About TikTok
Users must be at least 13 years old to open an account although there is a way for younger kids to access the app. Anyone under the age of 18 must have approval of a parent or guardian -- but there are plenty of young tween users.
Videos are recorded as 15-second clips. TikTok also lets users live stream them via Live.Me and interact with others via a chat function.
When signing up for TikTok, users profiles are made public by default. Even with a private account, info in the user's bio is public, including name and username.
Even if a user has a private account, they can watch any other video and follow others with public accounts. Not all videos are PG and many songs have explicit lyrics.
The app allows for private information to be easily shared both inside and outside the app (and encourages users to link to other social platforms). Many young children who don't know better share phone numbers and other personal info within the app.