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Equipment, Tech & Toys

A Parental Guide to TikTok

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Do you always catch your Gen Z-er dancing or lip-syncing in front of their phones? Chances are they are shooting a video for TikTok.

What is TikTok you might ask? We don’t blame you for not knowing, especially if you are 25 and above.

TikTok is a short-form, video-sharing app that allows users to create and share 15-second videos. You can shoot and edit videos with fun filters, add music, animation, special effects and more. Similar to other social media apps, users can also follow, like, and comment on postings by others.

Hop on the bandwagon

Surprise your kids by making your own TikTok video. We have provided a guide below so you don’t have to torture your teen to teach you.

First of all, install the TikTok app on your phone and create an account. Once you’re set, follow these simple steps to create a video:

1. Click the “+” button:

Tap the “+” button at the bottom and then you can choose a video from your album to upload.

2. Shoot:

Tap to shoot.
Long press the red button to shoot a video. You can make the video in multiple sections – a total of 15s is strongly recommended!

Change video speed
You can set the speed of your video by tapping this button.

Beauty Effect
You can even smoothen your skin with the beautifying feature! (Biggest win)

Filters
Choose a filter to change the colour scheme for your videos.

Countdown
If you want to better prepare yourself, tap the “Countdown” button on the right and video will start after a three-second countdown.

Effects
Show your creativity and differentiate your videos from others, especially with fun and novel animations that let you interact with your face/object/environment.

Stickers
There will be hundreds of stickers. They are fun and novel animation that interacts with your face/object/environment.

Duet/React
Make video creation more fun by showing your interaction with others.

Pick a sound
Choose the music that will take your video to the next level.

Where to find?

Option 1: Tap “pick a sound” at the top and select from the list of available music. Start shooting videos by tapping the “Shoot with this sound” button.

Option 2: If you like the sound of a video and want to use it, tap the music icon at the bottom right corner, then tap the shoot button so that you can use the same sound.

3. Edit your Video

You can cut the sound, change the volume, pick a new sound or change a filter on this page.

Special Effects
You can select the filter or time effects and add them to any frame of your video.

Select Cover
Select an attractive cover to get more likes.

Safety features that parents should be aware of

TikTok has invested in comprehensive safety features including an active and growing human moderation team, filtering functions and privacy controls to combat cyber-bullying and harassment. The digital wellbeing feature of TikTok also alerts users who have been on the app for more than two hours. It is ideal for parents who want to limit their children’s screen time and digital consumption.

Most popular social media apps also offer users the ability to connect with friends and family through the use of in-app messaging tools. They can be a great way to interact privately. It is important to note that there are several options for organising, controlling, and managing who can send you or your child a private message. Parents can enable or update message settings at any time to stay in control of who can communicate with their children privately.

Here are 10 ways you can keep yourself and your children safe while using TikTok

1. Age Gate – is a feature that only allows users who are 13 years and above to create an account, this feature prevents under-aged children from using the platform.

2. Screen Time Management – allows users to limit their time spent on the application to 40, 60, 90, 120 minutes per day. Any further usage beyond the set limit would require users to re-enter their passwords.

3. Restricted mode – protects minors through machine-learning that filters out content that may not be age-appropriate. This account setting is optional and exists so that users can take control of the content they watch and receive. Once selected, this mode can only be reverted by entering a password.

4. In-app suicide prevention – redirect users to an in-app suicide resource page that offer tips and hotlines so that users are able to receive help.

5. Risk warning tag – is added to notify viewers that a video may not be desirable for general consumption.

6. Comment filter feature – allows the user to self-define up to 30 keywords from the comments in English and the user’s local language. This list can be altered at any given point.

7. Parental control – is made up of Screen Time Management and Restricted Mode. Parents are encouraged to set a password for these features together to limit their children’s time spent on TikTok such that they would only be able to use the app when the parents/guardians are able to monitor their TikTok activity.

8. In-app reporting – this function allows users to report inappropriate content or behavior on TikTok to be reviewed and taken action upon.

9. Privacy settings – users are able to:

  • Decide who is allowed to follow them
  • Decide who is allowed to send comments
  • Decide who is allowed to react to their videos
  • Decide who is allowed to take part in a duet
  • Decide who can send them messages
  • Avoid undesirable content to be downloaded
  • Create and edit a block list

10. Community Guidelines

  • TikTok’s mission is to inspire creativity and bring joy, while keeping its users and the TikTok community safe. Its objective is to build a global community where users can create and share authentically, discover the world around them, and connect with others across the globe, in a safe and positive environment.
  • TikTok is constantly improving its Community Guidelines, which help maintain a supportive and welcoming environment on TikTok.

Social media as a powerful tool

With the popularity of social media today, parents who were once reluctant to explore these platforms could look to leverage them responsibly to improve family time and better connect with their children. Parents could see this as an opportunity to take the lead and set a good example for their children to follow, when it comes to using social media correctly and safely.

At the end of the day, consistent communication is key to fostering any relationship and social media is a powerful medium that allows for effective communication between family members – one that also allows families to create unforgettable moments with their loved ones.

By Cheah Sheau Mei, User and Content Operations Manager, TikTok (Malaysia)

From our team of purposeful, multi-faceted mummies. For editorial or general enquiries, email to us at [email protected]

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