A few years ago, listening to “TikTok” you were only thinking about a clock. Maybe some white candy, in a clear box, with a similar name. Nowadays, the name “TikTok” is one of the most common words you hear in conversations between children, teenagers and young people. It is the youngest member of the “family” of the most popular social media, which by the beginning of 2022 had 1 billion active users every month. Of the nearly 5 billion users worldwide, only 20.83% use TikTok. The majority of its users? Children, teenagers and young people. And something tells us that among them is your own child! So what is this TikTok, that has driven kids crazy (and not only)?
What is TikTok and how does it work?
TikTok first appeared in China, in September 2016. The success of the platform very soon prompted ByteDance, the company that created the application, to “recommend” it to the rest of the planet. TikTok started as a platform for users who wanted to share exclusively short videos, mostly with dance and lip-syncing content. However, a lot has changed since then. TikTok is now a complete platform, which supports almost every type of video and content. It is no coincidence, after all, that lately children and teenagers spend more time on TikTok than on the good old YouTube!
So, TikTok users can make their own videos with the content of their choice and upload them to the app, so that they can share them with their followers, relatives, friends, acquaintances or even strangers. Sound and music play an important role in TikTok videos. A huge library of sound effects and music tracks is available to users to use in their videos. At the same time, on the platform there is a wide range of filters, from which each user can choose the one that suits him best. And why does a TikTok user do all this? In most cases, its purpose is to increase its popularity on the platform!
What content can one find on TikTok?
On TikTok you can find videos with whatever content you are looking for, from original dance and homemade covers of songs, to humorous doodles, suggestions for recipes and DIY constructions. Many young people now use it as a basic means of informing them, as it is a truly huge pool of information. Commonly, on TikTok you can find everything!
Of course, talking about things you can find on TikTok, we couldn’t help but mention the challenges! We find it almost unlikely that you haven’t heard about them from your child, but what does it matter if we do a little repetition? What does challenge mean? A user makes a video (e.g. with his own choreography) and through it “challenges” his followers to imitate him, uploading their own video with the specific choreography. Followers accept the “challenge” and respectively invite their own friends to take part in the challenge. If all this takes on dimensions and spreads to a large number of users, then we are now talking about a new TikTok trend.
However, it is not necessary to make a challenge to become popular on TikTok. They can simply upload videos that follow the hottest trends of the platform, so that they gradually grow their audience. Many young people are now making a career in this way, professionally engaged in TikTok and having income from creating content on their TikTok channel (TikTok creators or influencers, in the language of Social Media). You may have heard of the cases of Charli D’Amelio and Khaby Lame, two young children who at a very young age managed to make huge sums of money from their content and popularity on TikTok.
After all that, what is TikTok after all?
It is the ultimate trend of our time. A magical online world, in the form of a mobile app, in which young people spend hours of their day. There they communicate, discover trends, express their interests and in many cases – thrive!
Can TikTok be dangerous for kids?
As with all Social Media, TikTok also has its “traps”. We live in a complex world, in which unfortunately not everyone has pure intentions. So you understand that it is difficult for a TikTok user, regardless of age, to know from the outset the intentions of each person they associate with on the platform.
Since we are talking about users-children, it is good that your child always has in mind what applies to any other Social Media platform: We are careful who we associate with, we keep our eyes open and whatever strange we notice, we tell our parents directly. Do not forget that open communication between you is an extremely important part of your child’s safety, not only on TikTok and Social Media, but also on the Internet in general.
However, TikTok is very good. It gives users the opportunity to watch videos that interest them, without having to follow or come into any contact with the creator of each video. Somewhere here is the point where every parent gives a “heart” (at least, a “thumbs up”) to TikTok for that particular feature!
What does using TikTok offer a child?
Children who use TikTok will benefit from all the advantages of Social Media in general. they will have the opportunity to enjoy direct communication with their friends, express their interests and personality, discover new hobbies, skills and talents, make new friends and draw inspiration from other peers.
In the case of TikTok, in particular, we would also add that the participation of children on the platform has the potential to significantly boost their self-confidence. Let’s not fool ourselves, FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) exists, lives among us and is often found in the new, digital generation. And as we speak, TikTok is the most popular social network of this generation.
So using TikTok, a child feels that belongs to something important, that is part of a supercool company. A large online community, to which all of its friends, peers and idols belong. A company that allows kids to feel comfortable with themselves, to discover new aspects and to constantly dream. Important, don’t you think?
Read our relevant article, if you want to know even more about the advantages of Social Media?