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TikTok’s Dominance is Now Expanding into News and Search, According to New Reports

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TikTok’s meteoric rise is both undeniable and unprecedented, sparking whole new trends in content consumption that have flowed onto virtually every other form of media in some capacity.

And new reports show that TikTok’s influence may be extending well beyond entertainment alone, with younger users in particular now increasingly relying on the app for search and discovery, and for keeping in touch with news content.

Which, given TikTok’s long-speculated links to the Chinese Government, could be a cause for some concern.

In regards to search, earlier this week, as part of a panel discussion at Fortune’s ‘Brainstorm Tech 2022’ event, Google’s Senior Vice President Prabhakar Raghavan, noted that younger users were now often turning to Instagram and TikTok, instead of Google’s apps, for discovery purposes.

As per Raghavan:

 “In our studies, something like almost 40% of young people, when they’re looking for a place for lunch, they don’t go to Google Maps or Search, they go to TikTok or Instagram.”

That’s not overly surprising, given the ubiquity of these apps, and their popularity among younger audiences. But it is interesting to see TikTok mentioned specifically as a key platform for search, which is not a usage behavior that most would instinctively attribute to the app.

Worth noting, too, that Instagram launched new business listing tools within its Map element this week, leaning further into this trend.

In terms of news content, Britain’s Office of Communications (Ofcom) this week published a new report which shows that TikTok is now the fastest growing news source for UK adults.

In addition to this, Ofcom’s annual report also showed that, for teenagers aged 12-15, Instagram is now the most popular news platform, followed closely by TikTok and YouTube.

So it’s not just entertainment, but TikTok is increasingly becoming the app for everything – which, again, makes sense, given the amount of time youngsters spend scrolling through their ‘For You’ feeds. But it could set off alarm bells among regulatory groups, which are already assessing TikTok’s broader impact.

Indeed, earlier this month, an FCC Commissioner in the US called on both Apple and Google to ban TikTok from their app stores, due to concerns that the app could be used as a surveillance tool by the Chinese Government.

TikTok was also recently forced to suspend a planned change to its privacy policy relating to the use of personal data for targeted advertising, amid questions over whether the change is legal under EU provisions, while a newly published investigation by Australian cybersecurity company Internet 2.0, has suggested that TikTok collects “excessive” amounts of user data, prompting even more scrutiny.

Add to this the fact that China continues to advance its global agenda, despite objections from other nations, and there is a level of simmering tension, which clouds the app’s future growth prospects.

Within this context, the fact that more people are using TikTok to stay in touch with the latest news seems like a potential concern, and could prompt even more action in assessing the platform.

In a more practical sense, right now, these new studies underline the rising importance of TikTok as a connective tool in various ways, which could see more businesses make it a focus in the upcoming holiday period. More people are using it to find products, and with that in mind, it should be on your radar as a potential connective tool for your promotions.

But further than that, some may have hesitations about building any real reliance on the app.

TikTok has continued to distance itself from its Chinese parent company, and it is looking to implement even more measures in this respect.

But if you were ever wondering why Meta keeps copying it – along with every other social app – these new reports shine additional light on the steadily expanding TikTok effect.

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Florida lawmakers push to ban social media for children under 16

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Vietnam plans to ask all social media users on platforms such as Facebook and YouTube to verify their identities

Social media. — © AFP/File Olivier DOULIERY

Florida moved Thursday towards enacting what would be one of the strictest bans on children’s use of social media in the United States after the state Senate passed a bill to keep those under 16 off such platforms.

The controversial bill seeks to protect children’s mental health against the “addictive features” of such platforms, amid fears over online dangers including from sexual predators, cyber bullying and teen suicide.

The legislation, which was approved 23-14, will now go back to the state House. It has already passed there, with the House speaker championing the legislation, but changes made in the Senate need to be approved in the lower chamber.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has expressed concerns over whether banning social media for children under the age of 16 violates parents’ rights – Copyright AFP Philip FONG

It would then have to be signed by Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, who has expressed skepticism about the legislation. Similar efforts by other states have previously been blocked by courts.

“We’re talking about businesses that are using addictive features to engage in mass manipulation of our children to cause them harm,” the bill’s sponsor, Republican Erin Grall, told the Florida Senate on Thursday.

But DeSantis, who has previously said he is sympathetic to fears over the impact of social media on children, voiced concerns about parental rights.

“A parent has the right to opt in,” he told a press conference Thursday.

The governor has argued many times that parents should have more control over decisions affecting their children, particularly in education.

Under DeSantis Florida has passed laws to curtail teaching about sex education and gender identity in schools and to eradicate diversity programs in state-funded universities.

Scores of books have been removed from the state’s school library shelves in recent months, deemed inappropriate for children by conservative parents and school boards.

Some critics say such a law targeting social media use would violate the First Amendment of the US Constitution, which guarantees freedom of speech.

Last year a federal judge blocked an Arkansas initiative that sought to require parental consent to open a social media account.

Most social media networks already have a minimum age of 13 to open an account, though they do little to ensure compliance with the provision.

If the regulation is approved, the platforms will have to block children under the age of 16 from creating accounts and close those already opened.

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Solar Flares Or Sabotage? Internet Theories On Today’s Massive Cell Phone Outage

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Solar Flares Or Sabotage? Internet Theories On Today's Massive Cell Phone Outage

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Massive cell phone outages across America are being reported today by customers of AT&T, Cricket Wireless, Verizon, T-Mobile, Consumer Cellular, Boost Mobile, US Cellular, and Straight Talk Wireless, according to data from Downdetector, an online platform that monitors connectivity. That story and more news you need to read today, inside.

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Meta Expands Access to Instagram’s Creator Marketplace

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Meta Expands Access to Instagram’s Creator Marketplace

Meta has announced that it’s finally expanding access to its Creator Marketplace tool, which will give more businesses the capacity to search for creators to work with on their Instagram campaigns.

Meta first launched its Creator Marketplace back in 2022, enabling U.S.-based brands to search and connect with relevant platform influencers based on a range of qualifiers, including focus topics, follower counts, location, etc.

And now, businesses in the following regions will also be able to access the tool:

  • Canada
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • United Kingdom
  • Japan
  • India
  • Brazil

In addition to this, Meta also says that Chinese export brands will also be invited to connect with onboarded creators in countries outside of China.

Which is interesting, considering Meta’s tenuous history with the CCP’s “Great Firewall”, but the deal here relates to Chinese businesses operating in regions outside of their homeland, which is somewhat separate to Meta’s internal dealings.

In addition to expanding access, Meta’s also rolling new machine learning-based recommendations within Creator Marketplace, which will use Instagram data to help brands more easily discover creators who are the best fit for their campaigns.

Instagram Creator Marketplace

As you can see in this example, the new recommendations will highlight accounts that have strong engagement rates in your niche, have mentioned your brand in the past, or have produced good results for similar businesses.

That could make it easier to find the right fit, or at the least, to give you more options to consider in your process.

Branded Content collaborations can be highly effective on IG, by using the established expertise and experience of creators who have already built a following in the app, and know what works, to boost your promotions.

By working with the right creators, with connection to your target audience, you can secure valuable endorsement within key communities, which can help to germinate your branding in the right communities.

Brands can check out Instagram’s creator marketplace in Meta Business Suite, with access coming to these new regions shortly.



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