TikTok seems to be the talk of Australian teens lately, but navigating the social network can be challenging, particularly for parents looking to understand more about the place their child is spending their time scrolling! Luckily, we have provided the ultimate breakdown of the application, answering questions such as: what is TikTok? Who owns the app? What is it used for? and what parental controls available to concerned parents.
So, what is TikTok and who is behind the app?
The TikTok app has risen in popularity following the beginning of COVID-19 lockdowns in Australia. Created in 2016 by Chinese research company Byte Dance, the social network application allows for short 15 to 60 second videos posted by creators for other users to watch. Before this, TikTok was known as Music.ly which launched in 2014, however, this was bought by Byte Dance in 2017. The decision was then made to combine both applications to form TikTok as it stands today.
Anyone with the app can become a creator and post their amateur videos for others to enjoy. Content posted typically plays along to a song or sound byte from trending music or popular movies. Videos uploaded vary in genre from comedy to beauty and fashion as well as music, dance, and much more! Today, over 2.5 million Australians are active on the app, with its primary audience being young people and teenagers aged between 15 to 24 who spend around 71 minutes watching content each day.
What are the TikTok “challenges”?
Challenges on TikTok involve users re-creating a trending or viral video that encourages users to re-produce the video in their own way. A popular challenge example is #matildachallenge where users pretend to make objects move using telekinesis like the hit 90’s movie, Matilda. This is a fun way for users to easily create content and engage with other members of the fan communities.
How safe is TikTok for children?
Users under the age of 13 cannot publicly post or comment on videos. The content is also curated on their feed for a younger audience. To access these filters, ensure you set up your child’s account with them and input their birthdate to indicate they are under the age of 13.
What parental controls are available on TikTok?
There are many ways to monitor your child’s use of TikTok, including:
Screen Time Limits: You could choose to set screen time limits or content filters on the app, which is password protected. Settings can enable a maximum time of 2 hours per day, to a minimum of 40 minutes daily. To enable this, go onto your child’s account, click the three dots in the top right of the page, then click ‘digital wellbeing’ and ‘screen time management’. You will need to enter a password to disable this setting once setup.
Restricted Mode: This aims to block mature content from the account. To set this up head to the ‘digital wellbeing’ tab again and enable this feature on your child’s account. You can enable and disable this feature only with a password.
Family Pairing: This feature enables parents to monitor watch time, content, privacy, and safety settings and whether your child’s account is public or private. To enable this feature click on the three dots on your account and your child’s account. Then, click on ‘family pairing’.
How do I monitor my child’s activity on TikTok?
Apart from the above features which can limit activity, simply keeping an eye on what your child is watching, or even asking about their favourite creators and videos is always beneficial.
Account Set-Up: Privacy, Deleting Videos & More
How do you delete a TikTok account?
- - Go to the ‘me’ tab or your account page.
- - Click the top right corner of your screen with the three dots (…)
- - Click manage account
- - Click delete account
How do you delete a TikTok Video?
- - Select the video you want to delete
- - Click the … icon in the bottom right corner
- - Click delete or hit the trash icon
- - You will be asked once more if you want to delete the video. Click delete
- - The video will be deleted from your account
How do you make your TikTok account private?
- - Go to ‘me’ tab or your profile page
- - Click the three dots in the top right-hand corner (…)
- - Go to privacy
- - Turn your account to private with the toggle button
- - Your account will now be set to private
So that’s our parent’s breakdown and guide to TikTok! You should now know more about the app and feel confident navigating it, whether for yourself or your children. You can also learn more about why it is important to keep kids and teenagers safe on the internet here.