Tik Tok was, without question, the app I used the most during my major project. I never thought I would use this platform so much! But here I am, scrolling daily and posting weekly.
Here is the breakdown for this app:
- General overview
- Legal (Privacy and Terms and Services)
- How I used TikTok during my major project
- Educational value and usage
- My final thoughts
Tik Tok is a social media app that allows creators to make short videos. These videos are easily editable with sound effects, filters, and music. Tik Tok is known for dances, life hacks, learning new recipes, duets, filters, and challenges. This app is very addicting, with nonstop videos to scroll through and an algorithm that keeps showing videos they know you will like on the “for you page”.
Tik Tok was first launched by ByteDance in China in 2016, where the app is known as Douyin. In 2016, ByteDance bought Musical.ly and they merged the apps. Since then, Tik Tok has been downloaded almost 2 billion times worldwide. It was one social media app that got many of us through the early months of the pandemic. Remember dalgona coffee? Yup, that was TikTok! Since its launch, some influencers have used this app to make money from sponsorships.
Privacy for younger viewers
Tik Tok’s privacy page is easy to navigate and explains how they use your information in detail. Wow, do they ever collect information from you! They explain how they use the personal information you give when creating an account. They process how you use the app, as well as your likes and your dislikes so they know which videos to show. They collect everything about your phone from your mobile carrier to your screen resolution. This platform also collects your location from your IP address and will even use your GPS for a specific location with your permission.
On their privacy page, Tik Tok does explain that:
“We retain your information for as long as it is necessary to provide you with the service. Where we do not need your information in order to provide the service to you, we retain it only for so long as we have a legitimate business purpose in keeping such data. However, there are occasions where we are likely to keep this data for longer in accordance with our legal obligations or where it is necessary for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims”.https://www.tiktok.com/legal/privacy-policy-row?lang=en
Terms and Services
When using Tik Tok, any user must agree to the terms and services. Now I’m not sure about you, but I rarely take a look at this. With that being said, I want to talk about some key points ( or else this blog post will be insanely long).
In their terms and services, Tik Tok categorizes each part so it is easy to understand what you are agreeing to do while using their app. Here are a few that caught my eye:
- Your Account With Us ( it’s your responsibility for what you post. We have a right to disable your account if you violate any laws)
- Your Access ( do not impersonate, harrass, intimate, discriminate, promote inappropriate material)
- Intellectual Property (ex: copyright infringement, your content)
- Indemnity (compensate anything legal for any breach in this contract)
How I used Tik Tok during my Major Project
I downloaded Tik Tok in September when I took EC&I 831. However, did not post. This time around, I found some courage and wanted to create videos. My first Tik Tok took me about two hours to post. I accidentally deleted the Tik Tok I was editing 3 times so I kept having to start over. After all that work, I received 261 views. Over the course of this class, I posted one video per week. I had fun choosing backgrounds, filming some booktoks, and picking music that fit my videos. I even got around to posting some teacher content. I got better at creating videos faster and I was enjoying this app!
Once I made a few videos, I was feeling a bit underwhelmed about the views I was receiving. Some of my videos received 800-900 videos. But some only received 12-70 views. I was writing hashtags, using popular music, and posting at different times during the day and the week. To this day, I still cannot figure out how to get more views. I do know that some influencers have one video that becomes popular and then from there, they receive so many likes, views, and followers. Maybe one day, that will happen to me… maybe.
A couple of months ago, I turned on my analytics so I could receive some statistics. In the past 60 days, I have received:
- 1,057 video views
- 11 profile views
- 75 likes
- 1 comment
- 0 shares
I may not be the biggest influencer, but it’s been fun trying to figure this out!
Tik Tok has definitely made its way into schools. Sometimes in a good way, but it has also caused a lot of problems. Using Tik Tok has allowed me to watch videos from other teachers. They have given me ideas for lessons and projects. I also like to decompress and watch funny #teachertoks.
For older students, Tik Tok can be a great way to teach students content in a way “that they just get”. Fast-paced and catchy is what they like! I also think it would be a great project for students to make a TikTok showing their understanding of a concept they are learning. (I did not use Tik Tok in my class since I teach elementary and I could not find a way to incorporate it. My students are still very young and I don’t want to push social media on them at their age.)
Let me start with one word: challenges. With Tik Tok came challenges in schools and destroying of property. The challenges were usually risky, but young people tried it anyway for views. (TikTok has now banned risky challenges)
And of course, bringing in social media for lessons only shows students that you are okay with using it at school. Perhaps if your students are digitally literate, it would be okay to incorporate it (perhaps to teach about digital citizenship!) Other than that, I think Tik Tok should stay away from schools.
I know some classrooms and schools already struggle with phone usage at school. Tik Tok only adds to that. I doubt every student has a restricted account and could be watching very inappropriate content at school. It could also lead to cyberbullying.
One of my students found my account a couple of weeks ago. It brought me back to our class discussions about who to be online. Of course, I stay super-private on their (no face or voice). So I might put my account to private after this class is over, just to feel a bit better.
I’m happy that I chose Tik Tok as my most used app for my major project, I enjoyed being more of a creator than a follower ( which I am for most of my social media accounts). It was fun finding that creative side and posting about my love of reading. I like that Tik Tok is a platform that allows for creativity and mostly stress-free content. I did get a bid underwhelmed at how much time I spent on some videos that received very few views. I did not find a way to incorporate Tik Tok into my classroom or my lesson. However, I hope to plan a digital citizenship and media literacy unit. And of course, Tik Tok would be a great subject to talk about being safe online!