Since 2018, the app “TikTok” has been conquering the playgrounds and climbing to the top of the download trends. In Germany, the app is very popular with children and young people to buy tiktok fans. However, providers are also confronted with criticism – because some of the young users present themselves freely and the app is increasingly interspersed with advertising content. Previously, the platform was known under the name “Musical.ly”.
The social network TikTok (formerly Musically or Musical.ly) has conquered German playgrounds. According to the 2017 JIM study, five out of 100 boys and 17 out of 100 girls between the ages of twelve and 19 use the app at least once a week.
TikTok can be used to create short, 15-second video clips that are accompanied by favourite songs. Initially, playback clips for chart songs were recorded and uploaded. Meanwhile, many users also upload football clips or do-it-yourself videos, and topics such as sports or comedy are also enjoying growing popularity. Besides the creation of videos, the app also offers a lot of interaction possibilities.
Why the app is so popular with children and teenagers is easy to understand. Funny, spontaneous self-portrayal on stage is a lot of fun. In addition, you can imitate your stars, incorporate mishaps and funny scenes as gags and is also perceived by the community, from which you ideally get positive feedback.
How TikTok works (formerly Musical.ly)
You can choose your favourite song from millions of songs on your smartphone. You can then create a playback video offline. Effects such as filters, time-lapse or slow motion allow easy creative editing of the video. 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 with users.
The clips can be shared on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp, and the internal search function can be used to find new videos using keywords or hashtags. In the integrated chat or via the comments on individual clips, the users exchange information.
Network with own stars
If you look at the charts of TikTok, it becomes clear that the most shared clips have a high number of “hearts”, the likes and followers. Among the most successful German users are the sisters Lisa and Lena, Lukas Rieger, Florian Kaulen and Falco Punch. Also the YouTuberin Nicole Sto or Joely White have relevant ranges. American stars include Kristen Hancher and Justin Blake.
The famous users of TikTok have become influencers. Due to their popularity, they also have many followers in other social networks: Many use their reach and earn a lot of money with product placements in their contributions. But it is especially difficult for children and young people to distinguish this advertising content from other influencer content.
Likes and fans get – in such a way it functions
There are numerous tips on the Internet for the successful expansion of your own account. Among other things it is recommended to post as many videos as possible, to surprise again and again with new ideas and to shoot the clips spontaneously. Authenticity and looseness in front of the camera also promise success.
In addition, participants can take part in so-called “challenges”, i.e. competitions. The aim here is to create a clip on a specific topic. The challenges are linked to hash tags, which act as a search function.
Private mode or public profile?
By default, newly created profiles are public. This means that everyone can see, comment and liken their own posts – even without having their own TikTok account. In public mode, all viewers can also watch the video outside the app, e.g. on Instagram or Facebook. Profiles in the app can also be set to “private” or simply saved for viewing. With the latter version, the person who creates the video chooses to whom he wants to present his clip.
In “private mode” only people who already follow the profile or those who are accepted see which clips have been uploaded. However, since TikTok, like other social networks, is mainly about the number of followers, popular users unfortunately always advise to make the profile public and to reveal as much as possible.
Poor protection of minors
TikTok stipulates a minimum age of 13 years in its general terms and conditions. For young people under the age of 18, the app also explicitly requires a declaration of consent from their parents or legal guardians. The age is not checked however and/or the indication of a wrong date of birth is sufficient. Also the declaration of consent of the parents is not subject to any examination. Quite a few users are also significantly younger than the minimum age of the app.
Especially many children and teenagers 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 data carelessly, publish personal data such as messenger IDs in the chat or in their profiles in order to make themselves more popular.