TikTok partners with Media Smart to educate 13-17 year-olds on how advertising works on its platform

TikTok recently announced that it has partnered with Media Smart to produce a collection of resources in order to help 13-17 year-olds understand how advertising works on the platform, as well as the best ways to keep safe. 

TikTok said the resources are designed for teachers to use in schools to equip young people who come to its popular app with the tools to identify the advertising content of brands on the platform and better detect their marketing messages as they consume it.

The resources include materials mainly focused on to define TikTok’s different ad formats, the advertising principles that brands should follow, and the actions young users can take to stay safe on the platform. 

TikTok also invites parents and guardians to use the resources to let them help young users use the platform confidently and securely. 

In August, following the privacy changes  of Google and Instagram aimed at users under the age of 18 to use the platforms safely, TikTok introduced new privacy changes for teens ages 13-17. 

The company said when someone aged 16-17 joins TikTok, their Direct Messaging setting will be set to ‘No One’ by default. It also announced that it is now adding a pop-up that appears when teens under the age of 16 are ready to publish their first video, asking them to choose who can watch the video. (“Everyone” option is disabled.) 

Prioritizing the safety and mental health of teen users is one of the most critical issues of popular social media platforms. A recent the WSJ report compiled from Facebook’s internal documents revealed how toxic the popular social media platform Instagram is to teens.

Although social media apps make an effort to show that they are trying to provide teen safety with various features and restrictions, it seems that more concrete actions will have to be taken by all in the coming periods.

Written by Jordan Bevan

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