As the conflict between China and the U.S. progresses, lawmakers have now turned their attention to TikTok. A China-based company stands behind the super-popular app, so there are growing concerns that user data might end up in the hands of the Chinese government. Therefore, a Democratic senator recently urged on Apple and Google CEOs to remove TikTok from their app stores immediately.
TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube; and their parent companies are facing yet another lawsuit over mental health issues in children. This time, it comes from Seattle’s public school district, claiming that apps have had a major role in the “youth mental health crisis.”
The district accuses social media platforms of causing a variety of mental health and behavioral issues in children and being “exploitive and manipulative.” According to the lawsuit, all these platforms are deliberately manipulating and exploiting users, targeting particularly the youngest ones among them.
The U.S. House of Representatives arm has announced that TikTok is now banned from all House-managed devices. According to the House’s Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), the popular app poses a “high risk due to a number of security issues.” So, the staff has to delete it from all devices managed by the House.
US Congress has introduced a bill to ban TikTok due to data protection and spying fears. The bill follows on the heels of a more recent bill that prevents government employees from using the app on government-owned devices.
The new bill is looking to outright ban the Chinese-owned social media app from American soil along with bills that would block transactions from any social media company in or influenced by China, Russia, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, or Venezuela.
Just when you’d accepted the verticle video format, TikTok goes and pulls a surprise on all of us and starts testing out a new horizontal full-screen video format.
The trial has rolled out globally but only to selected accounts, so if you don’t see it yet, don’t be surprised. It’s allegedly still in beta testing. This nod towards YouTube follows on from earlier in the year when TikTok began allowing longer form videos of up to 10 minutes.
Well, well, well, it looks like Instagram isn’t the only one trying to look like TikTok. Amazon Inspire, a new feed coming to the Amazon app, looks a whole lot like the mega-popular social media platform.
Amazon Inspire supports both photos and videos (just like TikTok does now, by the way). It lets you scroll other people’s and influencers’ content as mindlessly as you would on TikTok, only you also get to purchase them directly through the app.
We all know the power music can have from watching movies. A simple switching up of a soundtrack can completely sway a viewer to experience different emotions even when watching identical footage. In fact, research shows us that music has as powerful an effect on our brains as cocaine.
So it’s no accident then, that Instagram is harnessing this power by allowing users to add a music track to their ordinary posts in the feed. Skeptics could say that it’s just yet another way that Instagram is trying to keep up with rival social media app TikTok which has used music right from the start.
If you’ve been following social media news recently you’d be right to think that the apps have all gone a bit crazy having identity crises. Instagram wants to be TikTok, BeReal and Snap all in one, Snap and YouTube want to be TikTok, and BeReal just sorta wants to be left alone to do its own thing. It’s all so exhausting. And now, in an added twist of multiple personality disorder, TikTok has just added its own Instagram -like feature called Photo Mode.
Photo Mode is, well, what it says on the tin. The update allows TikTok users to share multiple still photos in a post, along with captions of up to 2,200 characters. Photos are displayed in a carousel format, with one image after another. Other users can swipe through the carousel at their own pace.
Perhaps you’ve noticed the recent trend on TikTok and Instagram, with street photographers approaching people, complimenting their style, and asking for a photo. I suddenly started seeing a gazillion Reels and TikTok videos like this, and there’s now a trend that mocks it… And it’s absolutely hilarious. I found a couple of videos to share, and I hope they will make this Monday a little better for you as they did for me.
When it first showed up, BeReal seemed like a breath of fresh air among all those social media filled with filtered faces, staged lives, and fake smiles. This app was dubbed “anti-Instagram,” as its goal was to have the users share the genuine, unstaged moments of their lives.
But is BeReal losing its point only a few months after its launch? I have some thoughts about it, and I believe there are two main reasons why this app might fail before it even properly takes off.