by Stuart Flint, Head of Global Business Solutions, Europe

As part of a long-term collaboration, Media Smart - a non-profit organisation which educates young people about online advertising - and TikTok have produced a collection of new resources to help 13-17 year-olds understand how advertising works on the platform, as well as the best ways to keep safe.

The resources have been designed for teachers to use in schools to equip young people coming to TikTok with the tools to identify advertising content from brands on the platform, and better spot when they are consuming marketing messages.

Education content for classrooms

The educational content has been produced after research conducted by Livity for Media Smart* revealed growing demand from both young people and their parents for easily accessible advice and support on understanding the commercial side of digital platforms as well as online safety. The study also showed that despite being a generation of digital natives, today's teenagers understand the value of learning about how to stay safe online.

In order to help meet this demand, the sessions have been tailored to focus on:

  • Defining TikTok's different advertising formats and understanding what they look like on the platform
  • Understanding the principles by which brands and creators should behave on TikTok
  • Knowing the available actions to take when managing their own experience on TikTok to stay safe

As well as educating young people about TikTok’s commercial side, the resources can also be used by parents and guardians who want to help young people use the platform confidently and securely.

Working with Media Smart

At TikTok, we have no higher priority than ensuring that we are giving our community, especially young people, a positive experience and a platform where they feel safe to express themselves.

From household names all the way through to small businesses, brands are a key part of TikTok, producing some of the best creativity the platform has to offer, and it's important that the younger generation can clearly differentiate between advertising and organic content. By launching these resources with Media Smart, we are providing valuable insight into the commercial side of TikTok, delivered in a fun and engaging way.

TikTok's work with Media Smart complements the platform's ongoing efforts to make TikTok the safest place for creative self-expression. The platform has a series of age-appropriate elements to ensure the safety of younger people, including limits on certain TikTok features, private by default profiles for under-16s, and a Family Pairing function which allows parents and guardians to link their teen's account to their own. Read more here.

What the experts are saying

Rachel Barber-Mack, Director of Media Smart UK, said: "Media Smart is absolutely delighted to be partnering with TikTok to empower young people with the critical literacy tools to navigate TikTok’s commercial side, helping them to confidently and securely use the platform, and most importantly, have the most positive online experience possible. We have worked with some incredible TikTok Creators to ensure the subject is brought to life in the most authentic way possible through TikTok style films. These will be played in classrooms across the country, as well as on the platform - reaching and educating millions of young people in the process."

The new resources can be downloaded from Media Smart's TikTok page and website. Teachers can also access the resources for use in classrooms and assemblies across the country.

*Research conducted by Livity, the research agency specialising in youth culture, for Media Smart