TikTok has launched a new “TikTok Tips” account which, as per its description, is “on a mission to promote privacy, safety, and positive vibes.”
The account uses popular TikTok influencers to deliver messages about user safety and well-being, including tips on how TikTok’s safety tools work:
And reminders about logging off every now and then:
At present, the account doesn’t include tips on how to improve your TikTok performance – like Instagram’s recently launched @Creator account – but the focus on user well-being makes sense, particularly given the app’s younger audience, while it also aligns with TikTok’s broader effort to play a more positive role and provide a safe space, free of outside judgment.
Of course, that’s not a realistic possibility in online communications, but TikTok has been working to update its policies to better address such concerns before they have a chance to proliferate.
Last month, TikTok updated its Community Guidelines, primarily to address potential issues with misinformation, but it also revised its rules around acceptable behavior in the app.
On another front, TikTok has also been working to underline the platform’s community benefit – as reported by The Next Web last year, TikTok is also developing its “#EduTok” eLearning program in India, with over 10 million EduTok videos already uploaded to the platform covering a range of educational categories, including learning new languages, career development and tech.
But TikTok has also made notable missteps on the user protection front. Back in December, leaked documents showed that TikTok moderators had been advised to flag content from users who appeared to have autism, Down’s syndrome or facial disfigurements, and their uploads were then distributed to smaller audience subsets. The intention of the policy was to protect users who were deemed to be “susceptible to harassment or cyberbullying based on their physical or mental condition”.
The varying elements underline TikTok’s rapidly evolving strategy as it works to cover all bases, and ensure that it’s meeting user expectations as it continues to expand. Aside from broader concerns about its potential links to the Chinese Government, TikTok knows that it needs to provide a safe platform in order to avoid further scrutiny from regulators, and potential penalties as a result.
Still, broader strategy aside, the TikTok Tips account is a positive step, which should help to provide users with helpful reminders and notes on how to make best use of the platform. TikTok could even use these pushes in-feed to prompt people to re-check their usage. Sometimes, just a simple reminder is all it takes to get people to take a mental break from the constant stream.