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TikTok Boosts STEM Content in Europe, Targets Young Users

Started by PocketOption, Apr 03, 2024, 05:41 am

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TikTok Boosts STEM Content in Europe, Targets Young Users


TikTok Boosts STEM Content in Europe, Targets Young Users

Quick Look:

  • TikTok expands STEM content in Europe, starting in the U.K. and Ireland.

  • STEM feed is available to users under 18, with a third of U.S. users engaging weekly.

  • Significant increase in STEM content creation, with 15 million videos globally.

  • Collaboration with Common Sense Networks and Poynter ensures content quality.

  • The move counters criticism by emphasizing TikTok’s educational and safe content focus.

In an era where digital platforms are increasingly scrutinized for their content and impact on young minds, TikTok is taking a significant step forward by bolstering its commitment to educational content. Amid growing pressures in the U.S. and the U.K., the social media titan announced on Tuesday its plan to expand its dedicated Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) feed across Europe, marking its inception in the U.K. and Ireland. This initiative, first launched in the U.S. last year, signifies TikTok’s strategic pivot towards positioning itself as a vital educational hub.

A New Horizon in Learning

The introduction of the STEM feed represents a paradigm shift in how educational content is disseminated to the younger demographic. Designed to automatically feature alongside the popular "For You" and "Following" feeds for users under 18, it ensures that STEM learning is just a swipe away. For those above 18, activating this feed is made effortless through the app's "content preferences" settings, offering access to a wealth of English-speaking content, complete with auto-translate subtitles for global reach.

TikTok’s data since the U.S. launch paints an optimistic picture: one-third of users have enabled the STEM feed, with a notable 33% of teens visiting it weekly. This shift has catalyzed a 24% surge in STEM-related content stateside, contributing to nearly 15 million STEM videos published globally over three years.

These figures underscore a growing appetite for educational content, signalling a positive trend in user engagement with meaningful, informative material.

Ensuring Quality and Safety on TikTok

TikTok is ramping up its efforts to ensure the content in the STEM feed adheres to the highest standards of suitability and reliability. Consequently, the platform reaffirms its dedication to this cause by collaborating with Common Sense Networks and Poynter. Subsequently, these organizations meticulously examine content for relevance and factual correctness. Therefore, through this stringent vetting process, TikTok ensures that it features only the content that meets these rigorous criteria in the STEM feed, thereby protecting users from misinformation and inappropriate material.

A Counter-Narrative to Criticism

This strategic move comes at a crucial time for TikTok. The platform faces increasing concerns about its potential to harm young users with inappropriate content and addictive features. Consequently, the launch of the STEM feed is more than just an expansion of educational material. Indeed, it stands as a powerful response to global critiques. It demonstrates TikTok’s commitment to creating a safe, educational, and enriching space for its growing audience.

Furthermore, TikTok CEO Shou Chew highlighted the STEM feed during significant U.S. congressional hearings. In doing so, he has successfully used it to illustrate TikTok’s broader aspirations. Chew’s actions challenge the negative perceptions surrounding the platform. Moreover, they redefine TikTok’s role in today’s digital era.

TikTok is adopting a progressive stance as it ventures through the challenging terrain of digital content and regulatory oversight. The extension of the STEM feed into Europe reflects this innovative approach to social media. By focusing on educational content and its integrity, TikTok stands up to its detractors. It is reimagining itself as an essential tool for education. This transformation opens up new pathways for learning and exploration for countless young individuals globally.

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