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OPLIN 4Cast #638: Time’s up to learn about TikTok

Posted in 4cast, and Social Networks

When I read in the New York Times last week that, statistically, it was likely that I’d heard of TikTok and equally as likely that I didn’t understand it, I thought, “Yep, that’s true. Sounds like a 4cast.” I’m too old to really get invested in short-form videos of people lip-syncing, dancing, imitating their microwave ovens, and what-not, but what’s really interesting to me are the innovations that TikTok is making to suck you in quickly and hold on to your attention so it can make money off of you.

  • A Beginner’s Guide to TikTok [Wired] “The app is fast-paced and chaotic, combining elements of Spotify, Snapchat, Vine, and Twitch into a single social network. Here’s what you need to know to get started.”
  • How TikTok Is Rewriting the World [New York Times] “It is constantly learning from you and, over time, builds a presumably complex but opaque model of what you tend to watch, and shows you more of that, or things like that, or things related to that, or, honestly, who knows, but it seems to work. TikTok starts making assumptions the second you’ve opened the app, before you’ve really given it anything to work with.”
  • TikTok parent Bytedance is getting serious about games [TechCrunch] “These stripped-down forms of apps within a super app have been a sought-after way for Chinese tech giants to lock users in rather than sending them to download a stand-alone app.”
  • FTC Enters Consent Decree with TikTok and Issues Largest-Ever Fine Under COPPA [Lexology] “The FTC targeted TikTok for collecting the name, phone number, and email address of users under the age of 13. In addition, through the app’s messaging system, concerns arose that adults could reach out to children directly.”

From the Ohio Web Library: