TikTok Has a Kids Problem and YouTube under fire for COPPA violations

This Week: Fall is upon us! First meetup of the fall scheduled – 9-27-2023 with my friends Brendan Gahan and Avi Gandhi on the eve of VidCon Baltimore. RSVP here for details!

A cartoon of a child sitting on a bed with a cat

Description automatically generatedTikTok Has a Kid Problem: YouTube still beats TikTok among 13-17 year olds in the US, according to new research from PreciseTV on how kids 2-18 use social video platforms. That study also shows that YouTube splits its kid viewership mobile and larger screens, while TikTok is primarily a mobile experience. But their research of 2-11 year olds – released earlier this summer – reveals a shocking truth: Younger kids LOVE TikTok. A whopping 29% of 2–5-year-olds watch TikTok, jumping to 37% of 6-9 and 55% 10-12. The addictive nature of social media – especially among kids – is a real problem. You aren’t supposed to be able to even have a TikTok account unless you are 13. How does a 2-year-old even SEE TikTok? This is a failure of both the platform AND parenting. Expect kids and social to be a big issue over the next few years. RELATED: YouTube’s no saint here either, apparently, as Adalytics recently accused it of violating Coppa laws and targeting ads at kids.

Social Media Gets Its Mark Twain Moment: According to Insider, it’s dead ($). Somewhat provocative, but title aside, I agree with the rise of private networks like Discord and Whatsapp but they’re nothing new. However, the notion that teens and younger kids are abandoning social platforms doesn’t jibe with the data. In fact, it’s quite the opposite according to the research cited above. 13-15 year olds spend even MORE time with YouTube and TikTok than older teens – with both groups still spending nearly two hours a day on each platform. Perhaps its an Instagram problem (the article focused on Insta). IG lags both TikTok and YouTube for teens, and it’s even worse with tweens and younger. 4 times as many 2–12-year-olds prefer YouTube – and twice as many prefer TikTok – over Instagram. What’s really happening? TikTok and YouTube’s efforts to woo the 2-12 set is sadly reaping rewards as they become teens, while parents seem to be wising up to Instagram (and TikTok’s) toxicity. Also, since most kids prefer using social media by themselves, perhaps IRL cuts into URL in our post-Covid era. Dave Morin’s Path was way ahead of his time.

Some Mid-Tail Creators Thrive Too: Despite last week’s look at how media powerlaws favoring the biggest creators (see below), there’s good news for mid-tail creators too. I continue to be impressed with how Alyssa McKay innovates across TikTok and Snap. Her new Bitmoji digital originals on Snap are a sign of things to come. Also, Megan Ewoldsen just released her fifth ME Threads collection, with an order conversion rate of 7.5%. And two famous dogs have joined forces to release a jumbo-sized dog backpack (The Information $). It’s just three examples, but for many more, check out Avi Gandhi’s Creator Logic newsletter, which highlights the business strategies and successes of mostly mid-tail creators.








LIMERICK OF THE WEEK – if only this were true.

There once was a site called Facebook,

Which privacy concerns, users took.

They wanted control,

Over posts that they’d scroll,

So, AI scraping was what they forsook.

Facebook heard the outcry and the plea,

And sprang into action, you see.

They offered opt-outs,

No more privacy doubts,

Securing all from AI’s prying spree.

AI should not wander and roam,

Scraping data from our digital home.

With a simple selection,

To protect their connection,

Locking posts in an iron-clad tome

So here’s to Facebook, the hero,

Granting users control, zero sorrow.

With posts well-guarded,

Their trust uncharted,

AI scraping? A tale of “no-go”!

Thanks for reading and see you around the internet. Send me a note with your feedback, or post in the comments! Feel free to share this with anyone you think might be interested, and if someone forwarded this to you, you can sign up and subscribe on LinkedIn for free here!

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And don’t forget to listen to The Creator Feed – the weekly podcast Renee Teeley and I produce – get it on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or Stitcher!

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