All about TikTok, the social media app kids are obsessed with

what is tik tok

Every few years, a new social media app seems to come out of nowhere to gain all the attention of younger users. TikTok is quickly becoming a fan favorite among teens and young adults, as the platform's short-video format allows people to be creative, funny, and also informative. It has become a tool that not only brings out the comedian from the creators but also allows parents to get involved with their kids. 

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Unlike on other apps, there is a trend on TikTok where parents perform choreographed dance moves, lip-syncing, and other challenges alongside their children--giving parents an opportunity to bond with their kids. There are downsides, though, like kids spending too much time on the app as well as attempting to partake in challenges that are a bit on the riskier side of things. There have been apps like it in the past, such as Vine, which was discontinued in 2016--but for now, TikTok seems to be here for the long haul.  

TikTok has quickly become a favorite among social media users.

The video-sharing app is owned by a Beijing-based company called ByteDance, which was founded in 2012 by Zhang Yiming. The app was launched in 2017 in markets outside of China and has been growing steadily since, becoming the most downloaded app in the United States. While some people use it to lip-sync their favorite songs, others use it to spread information, as an outlet for their comedy, or to show off their talents in a short-form video. By 2019, it was estimated to have 500 million active users worldwide.


Kids are trying all sorts of challenges, both old and new, and some are dangerous.

The classic Mentos challenge has been around for decades, but it's just one of many that have taken over TikTok. While some of the challenges are pretty funny, there are others that have made headlines because of their dangers. There was a challenge where users filmed themselves as they partially plugged a phone charger into an outlet, then slid a penny onto the exposed prongs, causing it to spark. This dangerous challenge could lead to an electrical fire. Authorities in Boston, Massachusetts, responded to a call at a local high school after students attempted the challenge. They warned parents about the viral challenge and urged them to speak to their children regarding fire and electrical safety.


Reese Witherspoon shared a special moment with her teenage son.

If you have had teenagers in your home, you know how difficult it can be to connect with them at times. The actress shared a sweet and hilarious moment between her and her 16-year-old son, Deacon, as he showed her how to use the app. The moment was not only informative for other moms but also showed how we can all use an app like TikTok as a bonding tool for us and our children.

Kourtney Kardashian's firstborn has his own account.

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After years of appearing on reality TV, Kourtney's firstborn son, Mason Disick, has joined TikTok! He's only 10 years old but has already been creating his own videos that feature his famous mom in them. The Keeping Up With the Kardashians star appears in most of his videos, so it's safe to say she's keeping a close eye on her boy. 


Kenia Ontiveros used the app to have dance parties with her girls.

Kenia danced along to one of the popular songs on TikTok with her daughters, Daleyza and Dalary. What a fun and sweet way to spend time with your girls, right? TikTok was first known as until the services merged. People mostly used the app to lip-sync and dance along to hit songs, and that has continued on with TikTok. 

Gabriel Soto showed us that dads can get in on the fun as well!

The actor showed that it doesn't take much to make every moment with our kids special and fun. What better way to bond with them than by dancing? Not only did it take time for them to learn the choreography, but they also probably did a few takes to get it right. That means so much more quality time spent with your little ones, and that is priceless.


Is TikTok safe for kids?

All social media apps come with their risks and dangers, and TikTok is no exception. Due to some mature content and privacy issues, it is recommended for children ages 16 and up. The app requires its users to be at least 13 years old to use the app and that anyone under the age of 18 must have approval of a parent. Supervise your child's account, control their privacy settings, and if they are younger than 13, opt for the section of the app that monitors the videos and is curated with clean content, especially for kids, and doesn't allow direct messages or comments unless you approve. As always, be mindful of your kids' activity online, and use TikTok as a way to watch fun videos together and get creative with them!