APP of THE WEEK
TIKTOK (iOS and Android, free with in-app purchases)
TIKTOK is one of the most popular social networks in the world, with an estimated 500 million users worldwide.
Yet, unlike most of my apps of the week, this one comes as a warning, not necessarily a recommendation.
TikTok has already faced investigations in other countries, and even been fined in the US for collecting data from children under 13 without parental consent. It’s now being investigated for GDPR violations in the UK.
It’s a fairly simple videosharing app – you record yourself, usually for up to 15 seconds, and post. You can follow others, like and share.
The videos are usually set to a tune from the list they used to call the hit parade.
It’s very popular with under-16s, and as such, has kind of gone under the radar for a lot of parents.
That is perhaps why others have raised some concerns about TikTok being used by those who may have an unhealthy interest in children – the NSPCC has suggested in research that it is used by adults to groom under-16s.
It’s a very polished app, and its Chinese makers have pots of cash to play with – so even though it doesn’t make any money, neither will it be going away soon.
Rather than suggesting you don’t use it all, I would recommend checking on whether your children are.
And if they are, make sure they are doing so safely…