How TikTok changes the way you view content

What's more important than your following count, though, is the story you convey. TikTok is used by more than a billion people every day and is available in 75 languages and 150 countries.

How TikTok changes the way you view content
With TikTok, you'll never look at videos the same way again. Photo by Solen Feyissa / Unsplash

Dances, cooking recipes, exercise routines, animal care, and music make TikTok an agile and fun digital tool; its function goes beyond entertainment, as it also participates in social causes and supports welfare campaigns for the community. TikTok is not a social network but a content platform that is driven by the community. Here, the number of followers does not matter, but the story you come to tell.

It is an entertainment space, where it is not accepted to be a political platform or to promote candidates but to defend social causes. TikTok has a global presence of more than one billion users worldwide in more than 75 languages in 150 countries, and it takes that seriously. Globally, it has four main causes: well-being and safety; inclusive and sustainable economic growth; diversity, equality, and inclusion; and climate change.

Suitable for ages 13 and older, it supports programs such as Creators of Tomorrow (to tackle climate change) and Donate on TikTok, a section that supports campaigns such as One Kilo of Help and Against Sexual Violence. It is redefining global culture, changing the way people view content and connect with the world around them. Moments are turning into cultural movements.

Within its structure, this digital platform seeks to have each user follow three steps: knowing, learning, and taking action. In this way, they first present a story, people relate to the content, and then they participate. The safety and security of the users are the priority. Technological and human resources are employed to moderate content and promote a positive environment. In doing so, they create a positive environment for their communities.

Community Standards include safety protections for minors, bullying and harassment, illegal activities and regulated goods, violent and graphic content, hateful behavior, dangerous challenges and activities, suicide, self-harm and eating disorders, nudity, and adult-on-adult sexual activities.

TikTok is a diverse and global community. By working to maintain an environment where everyone feels safe and comfortable creating videos, belonging to a community, and having fun. Ultimately, TikTok's goal is to continue as a place of inspiration, creativity, and joy.

TikTok is a window of escape for young people

TikTok was the most used network during confinement. The study "How do Mexicans use TikTok?" showed that 70 percent of those surveyed received false news from this medium.

Mexico is one of the countries that use and dedicates the most time to socio-digital networks; it is the sixth nation that uses Youtube, the fifth in the case of Facebook and WhatsApp, and the fourth in terms of Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok; this only below the United States and China.

Information from 2020 from the Federal Institute of Telecommunications, refers that Mexicans allocated eight to ten hours a day to the internet, compared to 2015 when they spent six to eight watching television. From the confinement derived from the SARS-CoV-2 virus pandemic, the socio-digital network TikTok emerged becoming the one that grew the most in 2020 on a global scale, since it went from 400 million users to one billion, according to data from its creators.

The origin of TikTok is Chinese and emerged in 2016; its heyday began in 2018 and is characterized by uploading short videos (from 30 seconds to three minutes) with almost any content because its users can manipulate them.

With this 'digital makeup,' it is as if we were denying ourselves as we are, for users to be accepted in this entire virtual community. This socio-digital network has elements of others such as YouTube and Twitter since it allows you to position your video from a very brief description, but above all through the use of hashtags or tags so that it has greater interaction.

The Consultancy in Applied Political Communication (CPA), led by Hurtado Razo, conducted from August to September 2021 the national study "How do Mexicans use TikTok?", through which 1,120 questionnaires were applied to almost 392 (34.71 percent) men and about 728 (65.29 percent) women.

They identified that most of them were young people between 14 and 20 years of age (54 percent), while the sector that participated the least was in the 51 to 60 age range (0.83 percent). In addition, 83 percent said they were studying for bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degrees, and 98 percent said they connected to TikTok using a smartphone.

In this application, you can find choreographed dances, challenges, reading recommendations, and other pastimes that attract the attention of young people and adults. Its popularity has led other disciplines to take an interest in it, such as politics. In this logic, the famous phenomenon of 'Tiktokers' arises, as well as 'Youtubers' or 'Influencers', people who have become opinion leaders or ambassadors of certain brands to generate content that is generally liked and who receive compensation for doing so.

The correct use of any socio-digital network would be to encourage public debate, knowledge construction, and reflections on a process of socialization and citizenship on problems that afflict today, such as the attack on the exercise of freedom of expression that occurs in a context in which the Internet was thought to be a space open to dialogue.

In the socio-digital networks, there is too much emotionality, as people are currently being carried away by their impulses that lead to polarization, hate speeches, and above all the "terrible virus of disinformation", without taking into account the opinion of society. And if this can be avoided, it would be best.

The millions of people in Mexico and the world who have the opportunity to make content on these digital platforms, the ideal would be that through them they raise awareness among more people about environmental care, respect for minorities, gender equality, promote human rights and animal rights, for example.

Other data from the study conducted by the CPA indicate that 70 percent of those surveyed said that they received false news through TikTok. Some manipulate public opinion to generate high doses of polarization among users and "lynchings" against a specific actor or institution.