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TikTok Lite for dummies: 101 on the spinoff app the EU is investigating

TikTok Lite for dummies: 101 on the spinoff app the EU is investigating

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This week, the EU gave TikTok just 24 hours to come up with a risk assessment specifically on TikTok Lite, a spinoff app it has. It claimed that this risk assessment should have been done before it was launched in the EU.

TikTok must provide the risk assessment for TikTok Lite and the other requested information by 26 April 2024, after which the commission will analyse TikTok's reply, and then assess next steps.

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TikTok Lite was released early this month in France and Spain and you would be forgiven if you have yet to hear of it because it was done quietly and without fanfare. If you have been hearing the words 'TikTok Lite' lately and have no idea what it means, MARKETING-INTERACTIVE breaks it down for you right here. 

What is TikTok Lite?

TikTok Lite operates a lot like the TikTok we all know and love but with a few key differences. 

TikTok Lite is aimed at those over 18 and generally offers similar features to the main TikTok app, allowing users to create and share short video clips with various effects, filters, and music.

On the app, you can watch millions short video content and just like the normal TikTok, it will adapt to your tastes to keep you entertained with interesting content every day.

TikTok Lite is interesting in that users can earn money by using it. According to the app description on Google Play, TikTok Lite users will be able to complete challenging tasks and earn rewards though a “Task and Reward Lite” programme. 

Users will reportedly earn virtual points that can be converted into Amazon vouchers, gift cards through PayPal or currency to spend during live videos.

To earn these rewards, users will have to go to a dedicated dashboard on the app and do things such as log in daily, like videos, follow accounts, invite friends and watch a certain number of videos, according to Le Monde.

TikTok Lit also has no eCommere features according to its Google Play page. 

Who can download it?

TikTok Lite is currently only available in France, Spin, Japan and South Korea. Additionally, it is also only available to Android users at the present moment. 

Why is the EU investigating it?

On 17 April, the commission sent TikTok a request for information under the DSA, asking for more details on the risk assessment TikTok should have carried out before deploying the new app TikTok Lite app in the EU.

This concerns the potential impact of the new “Task and Reward Lite” programme on the protection of minors, as well as on the mental health of users, in particular in relation to the potential stimulation of addictive behaviour. The commission is also requesting information about the measures the platform has put in place to mitigate such systemic risks, it said. 

A request for information is an investigatory act that does not prejudge potential further steps that the Commission may or may not decide to take, it added.

What about the EU's investigations into TikTok itself?

Beyond TikTok Lite, TikTok itself is currently being investigated by the European Commission (EU) into TikTok's compliance with the Digital Services Act (DSA).

The DS is a set of regulations that will force platforms such as TikTok to do more to ensure that illegal content and other socially risky content is not spread on their services in the EU. 

The EU launched a formal investigation into TikTok's compliance in February this year and are looking into the protection of minors, advertising transparency, data access for researchers, as well as the risk management of addictive design and harmful content.

The proceedings will focus on the actual or foreseeable negative effects stemming from the design of TikTok's system, including algorithmic systems, that may stimulate behavioral addictions and/ or create so-called ‘rabbit hole effects', it said. 

It will also look at age verification tools used by TikTok, at shortcomings in giving researchers access to TikTok's publicly accessible data and that it has put in place appropriate and proportionate measures to ensure a high level of privacy, safety and security for minors.

It will also have to provide a searchable and reliable repository for advertisements presented on TikTok.

Join us this coming 24 - 25 April for #Content360, a two-day extravaganza centered around four core thematic pillars: Explore with AI; Insight-powered strategies; Content as an experience; and embrace the future. Immerse yourself in learning to curate content with creativity, critical thinking, and confidence with us at Content360!

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