TikTok is the latest video-sharing app attracting millions of people worldwide.
TikTok is an iOS and Android social media video app for creating and sharing short lip-sync, comedy, and talent videos
Formerly known as Musical.ly, the app has taken the world by storm with millions signing up to share videos and garner views.
But what is the app? And why is it attracting concerns? Here is everything you need to know about TikTok:
What is TikTok?
TikTok is an app that allows people to share short videos they have shot on a smartphone and add enhancements such as filters and special effects.
The Chinese-owned platform claims to have more than 500 million active users in some 150 countries and regions and is in the top 25 free apps on the iOS app store alone.
Many of the videos focus on comedy and pranks as well as dancing and lip-syncing of popular songs.
People can also carry out live broadcasts, where others can comment below.
The app – formerly known as Musical.ly – is free to download and use, though people can pay to load virtual money, which they can use to buy virtual items or send to their favourite users.
Packs of coins cost from 99p for 100, all the way up to £93.99 for 10,000.
How do I use TikTok?
To create a music video with the app, users can choose background music from a wide variety of music genres, edit with a filter and record a 15-second video.
The video editor includes speed adjustments to edit your clip before uploading it to share with others on TikTok or other social platforms.
The app’s react feature allows users to film their reaction to a specific video, over which it is placed in a small window that is movable around the screen, and the duet feature allows users to film a video aside another video.
The for you page on TikTok is a feed of recommended videos to you based on your previous actions on the app, consisting of what kind of content you’ve liked.
You can also add videos, hashtags, filters, and sounds you like to your saved section. This section shows on your profile allowing you to refer back to any video, hashtag, filter, or sound you’ve previously saved.
Why is TikTok attracting controversy?
TikTok predominantly attracts young people.
When signing up, users are expected to state their age to show that they are over 13, though it’s easy to simply to lie.
Accounts on TikTok are public by default, meaning anyone can see what has been posted until it is made private manually.
Users can comment under videos and also send private messages when following each other.
Earlier this year, children’s charity Barnardo’s warned that the popularity of live streaming services like TikTok is contributing to younger and younger children seeking help after being exploited online, and expressed concern about the ease with which predators can use the comments function on live videos.
There are also fears that TikTok creators are exploiting fans over digital gifts, following a BBC investigation which suggested that children are being pressured by popular video-makers into sending costly digital gifts.
TikTok responded to the report saying it was “sorry” and that it would work on strengthening its policies and guidelines.
Can I make my profile private?
Users can set their profiles to private on TikTok.
The app allows users to set their accounts as private. Such accounts’ content remains visible to TikTok but is blocked from TikTok users who the account holder has not authorised to view their content.
Users can choose whether any other user, or only their friends, may interact with them through the app via comments, messages, or react or duet videos.
Users can also set specific videos to either public, friends only, or private, even if the account is public.