The ultimate parents guide to Tik Tok
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What is Tik Tok? The ultimate parents guide to the social media app

What is Tik Tok? Is Tik Tok safe? How does it work? And how can I keep my kid safe? We take a look at everything you need and must know about the popular social media app.

Table of Contents

  1. What is Tik Tok?
  2. Tik Tok Tech Spec
  3. Parents guide
  4. Is It Safe for Kids?
  5. What are Tik Tok Coins?
  6. Video: Inside the Tik Tok Offices
  7. Summary

What is Tik Tok?

Founded by ByteDance, it’s a video-sharing social media application. It’s used to make selfie videos of anything ranging from dancing to lip syncing. Talent videos and comedy are also popular on the platform.

The App was launched in 2017 for iOS and Android. The App allows users to create short video clips between 3 and 15 seconds long, it’s similar in a way to the now closed down app, Vine. (Link opens in a new tab).

It’s an extremely popular smartphone app, in October 2018 it was the most downloaded app on all of the available app stores! This was the first Chinese made app to get this accolade. However certain Chinese censorship laws (which we won’t go into on this blog) prevent Chinese nationals from being able to use Tik Tok.

The social media app’s main demographic are the younger generation. 41% of it’s user base are aged between 16 and 24. Of the total users, 56% are said to be male.

The most downloaded app of October 2018. Over 1 billion downloads so far!

Parents Guide To Tik Tok

As parents, you may not get time to check on what your child is doing on their phone every 5 minutes. Thankfully, we’ve put this guide together for you. This should help you understand everything you need to know about the video sharing social media app.

First things first, you need to understand that even the safest of social media apps can be a nightmare if you don’t teach your kids the basics of internet safety. We recommend checking out this great article on some principles of online safety. (link opens in new tab)

Carry on reading below, we’ve answered some of the most frequently asked questions and concerns.

Is Tik Tok Safe for Kids?

Yes. However you must take action to secure the account. Only a few minutes spent adjusting the settings will benefit both you and your kids.

The use of any social media has it’s risks but it’s certainly possible for kids to use social apps safely without adult supervision. You’ll need to ensure they have a private account and that you have an honest and frank conversation with them about the potential dangers of online activity.

When you sign up for TikTok, the account you create is publically viewable by default. This means that anyone can see your content (videos), send you a message or view your location information. The first step is to turn on all of the privacy settings for any accounts your children are using. This’ll ensure only people they or you know can interact with them or view the location info.

One of the settings allows you to only receive messages from friends, ensuring your child doesn’t get unsolicited messages from strangers. We still recommend checking who’s actually messaging your child every now and then!

To understand why you should consider letting your son or daughter use the app we thought this quote would help you overcome some of your fears. It seems the app is quite helpful to some users.

A 13 year old user commented online:

” In my opinion Tik Tok is not a bad site. It is pretty safe tbh. I don’t have a private account and neither does most of my friends. I use it to express my art skills and show them off. Tik Tok has really helped me gain confidence.”

To answer the question, we think it’s pretty safe as long as you follow a commonsense approach and remember, if something feels dodgy it probably is.

What Are Tik Tok Coins?

TikTok users spend real money in the app to purchase coins. It’s basically an in app currency. These can be exchanged for emojis, diamonds and gifts that users can give to other users during their live stream broadcasts.

Coins can be bought in bundles from 100 to 10,000. The price range is between 99p and Β£99.99 (99 cents to $99.99. if you are reading this and you are based in the USA). The coins seem quite expensive but as with all modern apps, in app purchases are the a major source of income for the developers behind them.

How to Buy Tik Tok Coins?

Should you want to buy in app coins for your children to spend, follow the steps below.

  1. Open Tik Tok on your smartphone
  2. Tap the person icon
  3. Tap the three dots at the top-right corner
  4. Tap my wallet
  5. Tap the amount you want to buy
  6. Confirm your purchase.
A picture showing the my wallet view in the tik tok app.
Be careful, don’t link your credit card to your kids phone as they have the ability to buy coins with relative ease.

Tik Tok Technical Spec & Information

Developer:Byte Dance
Release Date:September 2016
Operating System (OS):Apple iOs, Android, Fire OS
File Size:308.3 MB (iOS)
80.19 MB (Android)
79.7 MB (Fire OS)
Languages:40 Available
App Type:Video Sharing
Website Address:tiktok.com (opens in new window)

Tik Tok Frequently Asked Questions

1. How much are Tik Tok Coins?

Tik Tok coins can be bought via your app store from between 99p – Β£99.99

2. Is Tik Tok Suitable for teenagers?

Tik Tok is suitable for anyone older than 13 years of age.

3. How much is a Tik Tok subscription?

Tik Tok is free to use.

Video: Inside the Tik Tok Offices

Alex Brooks aka MarzBar got invited along to the Tik Tok offices, check out the video below. They seem like a really cool and open group of people.

Alex Brooks takes a look inside the Tik Tok offices. UK headquarters are based in London.

Summary

Most kids now are swayed by celebrity endorsements and often want to follow in their footsteps and become ‘famous’ on the platform. As we mentioned above, make sure you set the account to private. However, with the rapid rise in popularity of the app and kids wanting to become internet famous, you may have your kids begging to set it to public.

There’s huge peer pressure to become famous, which can and often does encourage kids to do things they wouldn’t normally do to get a larger following. Set limits and monitor your kids behaviour. Again, if it feels wrong it probably is.

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