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TikTok Lite - genious or dangerous?

What's your opinion?


With TikTok Lite, the Chinese company ByteDance has developed a kind of little sister to TikTok, which works in a similar way to TikTok but has a new type of reward system. The “screen time”-plagued parents among you know that TikTok already has a not inconsiderable addictive potential. Reason enough to take a closer look at this topic.


Teenager lieben TikTok

What is TikTok Lite?

The app is very similar to TikTok in terms of basic functionality and UI/UX design. The tab bar is identical and TikTok Lite is also essentially about sharing and liking short video posts. The app icon is distinguished by a small lightning bolt at the top left and is otherwise identical to the original app icon. Anyone who uses TikTok can also interact with TikTok Lite immediately.


What's new is that users are incentivized for watching and sharing videos and inviting friends not only through likes, but also through digital coins that can be redeemed for Amazon voucher codes, for example. So those who spend hours watching videos and interacting with them are now not only rewarded virtually, but also in real terms.


Where and for whom is TikTok Lite available?

The app is currently only available in France and Spain and is already in second place in the “Entertainment” category in both countries. In France, TikTok Lite is already more popular than TikTok. In short: the app is already enjoying great popularity and has stormed the App Store charts in no time at all.


Interestingly, TikTok is currently being featured on the Today tab in Spain, which makes me wonder who hasn't heard of the app 🤔.


Like TikTok, TikTok Lite is officially approved for ages 13 and up, although a simple age rating is sufficient, which can of course be easily circumvented by our loved ones. Other additional functions, including the reward system, are only permitted from the age of 18. So the kids will adjust their age upwards accordingly.




My conclusion

You don't need a PhD in psychology, nor any dedicated knowledge of “core loops” and “engagement metrics” to realize that this new system will increase the risks of addiction that TikTok already poses. The combination of “young audience”, very short algorithm-based videos in a continuous loop, as well as the additional monetary reward for more interactivity can have psychosocial consequences for users. In my opinion, minors require “parental gating”, i.e. parental approval or genuine proof of age, before the new reward system can be used.


Supplement:

Shortly after I wrote this post, TikTok switched off the reward function for the time being in order to avert fines from the EU and a potential ban in the European app stores. I am curious to see how the issue develops and will continue to follow it.


My personal opinion: I love apps and I am convinced that apps can make people smarter, happier, healthier and more productive. Apps that have the opposite effect should not only be closely scrutinized by the EU Commission, but also by users and, above all, parents and guardians, and should be banned if there is any doubt. Social media is good and fun, but please use it en masse and not at the expense of school grades, real contacts and enjoyment of life ✊


What's your opinion on the subject? Feel free to share them on LinkedIn.


See you next week,

Tom


PS: Do you know any parents you would like to “forewarn” about TikTok Lite? Then share my post with them.


 

All content in this article has been researched and compiled from public sources. If any errors have crept in, please let me know so that I can correct them.


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