The app “TikTok” has conquered the school playgrounds since 2018 and climbs to the top of the download trends. In Germany, the app is very popular with children and teenagers. However, the providers are also faced with criticism – since some of the young users present themselves liberally and the app is increasingly run through with advertising content. Previously, the platform was known as “Musical.ly”.
The social network TikTok (formerly Musically or Musical.ly) has conquered German school breaks. According to the 2017 JIM study. five out of 100 boys and 17 out of 100 girls between the ages of 12 and 19 use the app at least once a week.
With TikTok you can create short, 15-second video clips yourself, which are backed by favorite songs. Initially, playback clips for chart songs were recorded and uploaded. Many users are now uploading sports clips or do-it-yourself videos, and topics such as comedy and beauty are also becoming increasingly popular. In addition to creating videos, the app also offers a lot of interaction options.
It’s easy to understand why the app is so popular with children and teenagers. Funny, spontaneous self-portrayal on stage is a lot of fun. In addition, you can imitate your stars, incorporate breakdowns and funny scenes as gags and is also noticed by the community, from which you ideally get positive feedback.
How TikTok (formerly Musical.ly) works
Your favorite song can be selected from millions of sounds on your smartphone. Then you can create a playback video. Effects such as filters, time-lapse or slow-motion enable easy creative editing of the videos. Unlike its predecessor Musical.ly, TikTok is also about comedy and entertainment. Not only music videos, but also short, funny or impressive clips are popular among users.
The clips can be shared on Instagram. Facebook. Twitter and WhatsApp. With the internal search, new videos can always be found using keywords or hashtags. In the integrated chat or via the comments on individual clips, users can exchange ideas.
Network with its own stars
If you look at the TikTok charts, it becomes clear that the most shared clips have a high number of “hearts”, likes and followers. Among the best known German and German speaking users are Falco Punch, Anna Catify, Dalia Mya and Laura Sophie.
The famous users of TikTok have become influencers. Due to their popularity, they also have many followers in other social networks : some use their reach and earn a lot of money with product placements in their contributions. But especially children and adolescents find it difficult to distinguish this advertising content from other influencer content.
Content can be purchased in apps. Billing is done via the App Store.
In order to support admired users, virtual gifts can be made at TikTok via in-app purchases, for example. The recipient receives – after deducting fees for the app provider – money that is credited to him or her. The minimum age for in-app purchases is 18 years. In addition, there are apps and programs for special effects in TikTok that are financed through in-app purchases.
Get likes and fans – how it works
There are numerous tips on the Internet for successfully expanding your own account. Among other things, it is advised to post as many videos as possible, to keep surprising you with new ideas and to spontaneously shoot the clips. Authenticity and looseness in front of the camera also promise success.
In addition, participants can take part in so-called “challenges”. This is about creating a clip on a specific topic. The challenges are linked to hashtags that act as a search function.
Create a TikTok account
When registering, TikTok only requests a few details. In addition to a phone number or email address, only the date of birth must be specified. However, there is no real age check – although the service is only allowed from the age of 13 and under 18, parents’ permission is required in the terms and conditions.
Private mode or public profile?
Due to the default settings, newly created profiles are public. This means that everyone can see, comment and like their own posts – even without having their own TikTok account. In public mode, all viewers can also see the video outside the app. for example on Instagram or Facebook.
Profiles in the app can also be set to “private” or just saved for personal viewing. In the latter version, the person who creates the video chooses who he wants to present his clip to.
In “private mode” only people who already follow the profile or those who accept which clips have been uploaded see. Since, as in other social networks. TikTok is primarily concerned with the number of followers, unfortunately, popular users always advise to make the profile public and to disclose as much as possible.
Inadequate protection of minors
TikTok stipulates a minimum age of 13 in its terms and conditions. For young people under the age of 18, the app also explicitly requires a declaration of consent from the legal guardian in their terms and conditions. However, the age is not checked or it is sufficient to enter the wrong date of birth. The parents’ declaration of consent is also not subject to an examination. Quite a few users are also significantly younger than the minimum age of the app.
Many children and adolescents also reveal a lot about themselves in order to be interesting for other viewers and thus get more likes and fans. The music videos are publicly accessible, the minors often handle their contact details carelessly, publish personal data such as messenger IDs in chat or in their profiles to make themselves more popular.