Have you heard of TikTok? It’s one of the newest apps and teenagers seem to love it! With that in mind, today I’m sharing what parents need to know about TikTok. TikTok’s aim is to enable everyone with a smartphone to capture and creatively present precious life moments. It allows everyone to be a creator, without the need for expensive equipment. Additionally, TikTok encourages users to share their passions and creativeness through their videos.
Disclaimer: This is a partnered post, but all words and opinions are my own.
What Parents Need To Know About TikTok
If you’ve got teenagers, chances are you’ve heard of TikTok. It’s a social media app that allows kids users to interact via short video snippets. So being the geeky Mum I am, I registered to see what all the fuss is about! My username is @TheTinaBailey – Feel free to follow me for regular mum hacks!
I’ve spent hours playing with TikTok. The beauty filters definitely do wonders for covering my wrinkles! I loved the filter which changes your eye colour best – what do you think? Do I suit blue eyes? You can make videos with this filter in place, so even when you’re blinking, and moving around… It stays in the right place! That’s some pretty epic geekery, right there!
Before I continue, I want to stress that this app is suitable for those aged 13+ only. I do not endorse allowing younger users to have access to it. The free app is available on iOS or Android devices, and parents can block it via the App Store.
Why Do Teens Love TikTok?
The app is super easy to use, and creators are doing a stellar job of creating engaging content for users to get involved with. The hashtag challenges are a fun way for users to link up and engage with each other.
The recent hashtag challenge – #HowToSign encourages users to share signing videos, for National Deaf Awareness Week – how amazing is that! As the parent of a non verbal child, I love that TikTok are encouraging their users to learn how to communicate via sign!
Unless you’ve been asleep all year, you’ve probably seen at least one #TriangleDance video. This was a TikTok creation, and it’s worked wonders in getting everyone active! My back isn’t up to joining in, but I love how it got so many teens moving! For me, the thing which makes TikTok different from other video apps is their safety and privacy settings.
Safety and Privacy
Like with other platforms, you can allow your teens to have an account, but have the ability to set it to private, so only their friends can see it. However, TikTok goes even further, and allows you to say exactly who can interact with your content.
Don’t want someone commenting? No problem! You can even filter out words, so that any comment containing a word you’ve filtered won’t show up. You can also prevent users from downloading your videos, so it’s harder for people to copy or redistribute it without your permission.
Something which I was thrilled to see is the ability to easily report a chat, as well as just a video you may find offensive.
How to report a chat on Tik Tok:
1). Open the conversation you want to report
2). Tap on the name of the person / group (iOS) or on the Menu button (Android)
3). Tap on “report”
4). Follow the instructions on the screen.
Restricting Usage With Digital Wellbeing
If you’re anything like me, you probably spend too much time on social media. TikTok have got a great way to minimise that…
By activating the “Digital Wellbeing” mode within the app, you can restrict your daily usage time to 40, 60, 90 or 120 minutes per day on the app. This feature is password protected, so if users reach their screen time limit they will need to enter a password to continue to use TikTok. Once the user has reached their daily time limit, the app won’t show any content unless the password is entered. This could be used as a great way to get your teens to do their homework!
There is also a restricted mode, which prevents age sensitive content being shown to minors without inputting a password.
I am hyper vigilant when it comes to keeping younger users safe online. My own children are far too young for social media, and won’t be allowed access to any platforms until they are 13, and parental controls are in use. As long as parents follow the safety guidelines and are confident their child would discuss any problems which could arise, I see no reason why they shouldn’t use TikTok once they are old enough.
TikTok is making every effort to ensure their users’ safety, and these safety videos help to reinforce that. They even have actual humans moderating their content – that’s more than some other apps and platforms offer!
Finally, if you found this what parents need to know about TikTok post useful, why not check out more of my geeky stuff here.