Tiktok is one of the most popular social media platforms among Gen Z-ers and millennials. This video app allows you to share short videos, ranging from dance challenges, conspiracy theories, makeup tutorials, storytelling, memes, music, and everything you could possibly think of in between. These videos are shared with your friends and other app users in a matter of minutes. Tiktok’s rising popularity has increased ByteDance’s value to about $75 million dollars and with over 500 million users joining the app monthly it’s only continuing to rise.
Overall, it seems like an exciting app, but its success has come with challenges. The costs ByteDance incurred to keep this platform running were very high and they faced charges of a few million dollars for violations against privacy laws. In many ways, the app is very flawed when it comes to privacy, allowing hackers to send users’ links, which further allows them to take over their accounts. Tiktok violated Children’s Privacy Laws, resulting in ByteDance having to pay $5.7 million in a settlement. This leads to other costs, such as the loss of potential investments due to their fragmented security walls.
Along with the app being very questionable with the security of its users’ personal content, it is also very addictive. Users spend anywhere from between 46-56 mins a day on the app. TikTok is time-consuming and leads its users away from their daily commitments, doing so by having the best algorithms for drawing tailored content into each user’s “for you page”. The videos on TikTok are quick and easy to watch, which means that users telling themselves “just one more video” ends up eating a lot of time.
There are two main reasons why people end up downloading TikTok: to entertain or to be entertained. Many people have strived for fame through Youtube, Instagram, and other accessible platforms, but TikTok is on a whole new level. Tiktok has made it easier than ever to go viral, one of the simplest ways is to just hop on whatever new TikTok challenge there is and within a matter of seconds you’re more likely to get views than to not.
With all of this, TikTok is still very trendy, the average person is simply gaining constant utility out of watching hours of content designed specifically for them, while other users have a chance of going viral in a matter of minutes. From both of these, the utility is pretty high, but when the costs such as privacy threats and time sucks are considered, is Tiktok really worth downloading?