TikTok is an app from Chinese company ByteDance for creating and publishing short (music) videos between 15 and 60 seconds in length. The users can record videos, cut, overlay music, use colorful effects and thus express their creativity. The most popular are dance and lip sync (playback) videos and internet sounds, but you can also watch comedy clips, vlogs, DIY tutorials, etc. Live streams are also possible with the app.

In 2018, the Chinese company bought the Musical.ly app and integrated it into its app. Musical.ly was also a popular lip sync app. The users of this app were automatically taken over by TikTok. As a result, the reach of Musical.ly users was greatly expanded, as TikTok already had 100 million active users every day in June 2018. The concept of TikTok, the 15-second short videos, is reminiscent of the principle of Vine, an online video platform known for its 6-second videos until 2016. The success of TikTok and its predecessor is now also inspiring Facebook to offer such a feature. Therefore, Facebook has now published in the US, the app “Lasso”, which is also a platform for short videos and again to win back more young people for Facebook.

Should the whole world be able to watch?

Creating a video is easy: a song is selected and it is danced and sung. Alternatively, you can first make a video and then choose the appropriate music. Finally, add filters, emojis, stickers, and other effects to finish the video. With the help of hashtags (#) the video can then be marked so that the interested target group can see or find the video. Depending on the settings in your own profile, the video is then shared with the circle of friends or with the whole world and can reach thousands of viewers in a few seconds.

However, one should be aware that a supposedly funny video can have serious consequences for one, especially if everyone can see it. Because to gain attention, some users film in inappropriate situations, in risky challenges, film other people without their permission or show up in illegal actions (such as using the phone at the wheel). Such actions can not only arouse ridicule, but also have legal consequences.

Another problem with TikTok is that it can be dangerous when teenagers try to imitate stars in their music videos. For example, some young users dress as freely as their idols and try to seductively move. Not only can such videos become unpleasant when acquaintances find them, but they can also allow unknown people to use some hashtags to search for videos of young girls, then get in touch or leave offensive comments. Basically TikTok is not dangerous in itself – if you interact with the right users and handle the app carefully.

Tips for the safe handling of TikTok

As with all apps, it is advisable to take various measures to simply avoid problems. Here are some important tips to keep in mind when using TikTok:

Check the privacy settings and customize them: Who can or should see your videos? With a private profile, only your friends can see your videos.

Think about what content you want to share: is the content appropriate? Could the video have consequences for me or others?

Ask for permission when friends or other people appear in your video. It is illegal to post photos or videos of others without your consent.

Do not share your tik tok video download free in other social networks: You may not redistribute videos with music or film clips if you have no rights to this content.

Report inappropriate or illegal content. You can report such content directly to the app, and you can always ask an adult of your choice or the BEE SECURE Helpline at 8002-1234 for advice. You can also report illegal content on the BEE SECURE Stopline.

TikTok is released for teens from 13 years. For young, underage users it is therefore advisable that parents address these steps and even go through with their children to teach them how to use the modern media responsibly. It is also important that the children always know that they can count on the understanding and support of their parents and BEE SECURE to trust someone in case of problems.