What Age Should You Be to Use TikTok
TikTok is everywhere. On almost every phone, on every news website, social media marketing portal and anywhere people talk about tech. It’s an exceptionally popular app that has superseded everyone’s expectations. But what’s all the fuss about? What’s the target demographic? What age should you be to use TikTok? Is TikTok safe for kids to use?
TikTok took over from Music.ly and is a lip sync app to end all lip sync apps. To call it a video app is to do it an injustice as it is a fully featured social network with chat, video, monetization and other features on the way. If you’re planning to use TikTok for personal use or for marketing, it pays to know the network you’re dealing with.
Let’s take those questions in reverse order.
What age should you be to use TikTok?
TikTok is used predominantly by teens. You need to be 13 and over to register for an account and use the site. The typical age range is 13 to 18 but there will be users outside this. Technically you shouldn’t be using it if you’re under 13 but since when has that stopped anybody?
What’s the target demographic?
The target demographic is boys and girls within those age ranges. They will still be in school or going to college and will be interested in the usual things that teens like. Music is a strong influence in TikTok so any brand with links to the music industry will do particularly well. Makeup, hair and clothes also have a strong presence too thanks to a wide array of talented users who offer advice.
What’s all the fuss about with TikTok?
The main fuss is the size of the user base. It is huge. Since it broke the mainstream, TikTok has been at the top of both the App Store and Google Play download list. It has millions of active users and many millions of hours of video.
Its popularity stems from its ease of use. Once registered you can be producing and publishing 15 second videos in less than fifteen minutes. It will take longer to master as there is a lot to video production but a basic lip sync video can be done very quickly. The app includes soundtracks, video tools and some editing tool too so everything is there to make you into the next internet sensation.
Is TikTok safe for kids to use?
Despite the scaremongering from some parent websites, on the whole TikTok is a safe place for kids to hang out. There will be the occasional incident but given the many millions of people who use the app, these are in the minority. TikTok is a social network so there are definitely risks but fewer than Facebook, Instagram or any of the others.
The main consideration when allowing children to use TikTok is education. There will likely be people on there who will request videos you wouldn’t approve of or who will groom children into revealing more than they should. Teaching children to recognize these attempts and report them to you or to TikTok is key.
To help maintain some privacy, sign up to TikTok separately and not by using Facebook. This stops people being able to link the two accounts and learn more than they should. Teach your child about revealing personal information and help them understand why they have to be careful. Use your judgment how much you share and how you share it.
There are some controls you can tweak in TikTok to make is as safe as possible. You can set the account to private which will only allow friends to contact them using the app or see any videos they upload. It restricts some of the freedom of the app but is a useful protection. It isn’t perfect and won’t stop all incidents but can prevent the majority of them.
- Open the TikTok app and select Settings.
- Select Privacy & Safety from the menu.
- Toggle Private Account to on.
You also have the option to control who can post comments, who can show reactions, who can duet and who can send messages. Setting these to Friends means only those whom have been friended on TikTok will be able to interact.
TikTok is a social network of millions. It is predominantly a positive place to be where kids share videos and chat. However, it’s a social network so there will be risks and there will be dangers. Balancing the freedom your child needs with the valuable life lessons such freedom and interactions bring while protecting them is going to be down to your own judgement. Good luck with that!