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TikTok Launches New ‘TikTok Tips’ Account to Share Platform Safety and Well-being Advice

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TikTok has launched a new “TikTok Tips” account which, as per its description, is “on a mission to promote privacy, safety, and positive vibes.”

TikTok Tips

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. 

EduTok

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.

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Thanks to Lindsey Gamble for the heads up about the new TikTok Tips account.

Socialmediatoday.com

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Meta Will Shut Down its Newsletter Platform Early Next Year

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Meta's Reallocating Resources Away from Bulletin and its News Tab, Which Could See Publishers Lose Out

In news that will surprise no-one, Meta has today confirmed that it’s shutting down its ‘Bulletin’ newsletter platform, just 18 months after its initial launch.

Another sign of Meta’s fleeting interest in the latest trends, the company launched Bulletin in April 2021, as part of an effort to take a piece of the growing newsletter market, with platforms like Substack seeing massive growth in facilitating direct connection between writers and their audiences. Twitter also acquired newsletter platform Revue, and it had seemed, at the time, that newsletters could offer a new, supplementary income stream for creators, aligned with social apps.

In addition to this, Meta also saw an opportunity to provide a platform for local publications that had been shut down due to the pandemic. With ad dollars from local businesses drying up, due to lockdown measures, many smaller publications had to shut down, and Meta viewed this as a chance to make Facebook an even more critical element of community engagement, by providing a direct pathway for independent journalists to serve their audiences through the app.

As part of its initial push, Meta allocated $5 million in funding for local publications to convert to Bulletin instead.

And it sort of worked. Bulletin, at last at one stage, supported over 115 publications, with more than half of the creators on the platform reaching over 1,000 subscribers.

But this year, amid tougher market conditions, Meta lost interest.

The company has been gradually scaling back its investment in news and original content in recent months. Back in July, The Wall Street Journal reported that Meta had reallocated resources from both its Facebook News tab and Bulletin, in order to ‘heighten their focus on building a more robust Creator economy’

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In other words, Reels – Meta’s main investment focus for the future of the Creator Economy is short-form video content, which drives more views, more engagement, and is the big trend that Meta’s chasing right now.

As a result, Meta says that it will shut down Bulletin by early next year.

As per Meta:

“Bulletin has allowed us to learn about the relationship between Creators and their audiences and how to better support them in building their community on Facebook. While this off-platform product itself is ending, we remain committed to supporting these and other Creators’ success and growth on our platform.”

So long as they create Reels, I guess.

Again, the decision here is no surprise, but it does serve as another reminder that Meta chases whatever trends it can, and it has no real, long-term commitment on any of its new pushes.

Video is the thing, as it has been several times before, and Meta will keep pushing that till audiences lose interest. Then it’ll be something else that Meta’s pitching to brands, publishers, users, etc.

Logically, Meta follows the latest trends in order to maximize the benefit of such within its tools. But it is worth noting that, when it does lose interest, it tends to move on entirely, leaving anyone who’s invested in its last whim out in the cold.

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Overall, Bulletin isn’t huge, and it won’t impact a heap of writers and publishers, as such. But even so, for those that have invested in the platform, in good faith, it’s a bitter pill, and while they will now be able to move on to other platforms as well, it’s good to remind yourself that Meta chases trends, and moves on quick.

‘Don’t build on rented land’. ‘Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket’. Don’t trust social platforms to keep supporting that feature or platform that you’ve come to rely on.

The closure of Bulletin may seem like a side note to many, but it’s an important reminder that you need to diversify your strategy to avoid such impacts.

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