TikTok Newsletter 54

TikTok videos can be 5 minutes long soon. Probably 10 next.


This is Understanding TikTok – your weekly TikTok newsletter. My name is Marcus. I have been working on a draft for an upcoming TikTok report for Mozilla Foundation and consulted a german public broadcaster on animal content for TikTok last week. Thanks for being patient.

Speaking of which. TikTok launches attack on YouTube’s longer-form video territory with new 5 minute video upload limit and has also been spotted testing a 10-minute upload limit, tweets Matt Navarra! Call me when we can do an hour… ⏳

This week we talk about:

💣 Extremism and Hate Speech on TikTok
🇨🇳 Beijing takes stake in ByteDance
🧑‍🎤 Augmented Reality:  TikTok Effect Studio
🙉 More

💣 An In-Depth Analysis of Extremism and Hate Speech on TikTok

The Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD) is a London-based think tank concerned with extremism. Recently ISD has published papers on The Extreme Right on Discord, The Extreme Right on Steam and Hatescape “the culmination of three months of research on a sample of 1,030 videos posted on TikTok” by analyst and investigator Ciarán O’Connor.

The research “examined how TikTok is used to promote white supremacist conspiracy theories, produce weapons manufacturing advice, glorify extremists, terrorists, fascists and dictators, direct targeted harassment against minorities and produce content that denies that violent events like genocides ever happened.”

Key findings include: content originally produced by ISIS is posted on TikTok, 26 posts denied the existence of the Holocaust, extremist TikTok creators rely on music and video effects. And: Hateful and extremist content is removed on TikTok, but inconsistently.

The 57-page report ends with a list of concrete recommendations for TikTok. Because “there is clearly a considerable enforcement gap in the platform’s application of ... policies.”

🇨🇳 Beijing takes stake in ByteDance

The Chinese government’s grand plan to assert more control over the country’s internet behemoths continues. Last week, The Information reported that a domestic entity of ByteDance sold a 1% stake to a government affiliate in April. The deal was also recorded on Tianyancha, a database of publicly available corporate information, as well as the official enterprise registration index. (Techcrunch)

The ownership stake does not appear to directly affect TikTok. But the development could prompt fresh debate about whether TikTok poses national-security risks to American users. In any case, it suggests that China is pushing for more sway over ByteDance, whose TikTok-like platform inside of China is called Douyin.(Washington Post)

Without going totally nuts straight away, it is interesting to read the Foreign Policy article “The U.S.-China Data Fight Is Only Getting Started. Beijing is looking to build a unified legal and security system.” by Samantha Hoffman, a senior analyst at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s International Cyber Policy Centre.

🧑‍🎤 TikTok is testing new augmented reality developer tools

I forecasted user generated AR effects on TikTok in newsletter 37 (⚡New Features and (AR) Effects). And we just got a bit closer. TikTok is testing an experimental set of developer tools. The platform is called TikTok Effect Studio and is currently in private beta, according to TechCrunch. Both Snap and Facebook have their own AR developer initiatives, which encourage people to build new camera effects for their respective platforms.

Facebook and Snap have seen similar successes with AR in recent years, and have allocated their resources accordingly: In addition to rolling out a $3.5 million fund last year directed to AR Lens creation, Snapchat also debuted the fourth-generation of Spectacles—smart glasses with built-in AR displays—last May. Facebook has also made significant efforts to expand its AR platform in recent years, announcing during the F8 developer conference in June that it had amassed 600,000 creators across 190 countries, making it the largest mobile AR platform in the world. (Gizmodo)

🙉 More

🎈Hey Swiftie. Taylor Swift is on TikTok now. Lots going on at the moment…

📐 In just 10 months, tapping into the ArtTok and ArtHistoryTok hashtags, McGillivray built a following of over 350,000.

🔦 6 TikTok Storytelling Frameworks including most effective TikTok promotional techniques, based on brand approaches.

🚘 Darf man sein Auto vollkaskoversichern? Wie Salafisten auf TikTok zu Influencern werden.

🦸Who is TikTok’s masked vigilante?

🎶 The new type of music blogger. Meet TikTok's Spotify influencers

🧢 ‘OK Boomer’: how a TikTok meme traces the rise of Gen Z political consciousness

🗞️ The Washington Post deepens investment in storytelling on TikTok, announcing two new positions

💰These TikTok Songs Have Earned the Most Money in 2021

And now would you please excuse me, i need to find a TikTok tour guide that will show me their city. Seems to be a thing now. ☂️ Speak soon. Ciao. Oh, and here is some old footage from the fave-section. 2019.