TikTok's New Safety Video Series Asks Users to 'Treat Everyone Like Fam'

Courtesy of TikTok 
        

As TikTok surpasses 1 billion downloads, the short-form lip-sync video app is launching a new video series to educate users about safety on the platform popular with pre-teens.

Titled "You're In Control," the seven-video collection stars TikTok users and uses editing tricks and memes to show viewers how to make an account private, enable comment controls, set screen time limits and more. In one Black Mirror-esque video, a man puts on magic sunglasses that turn a barking dog into a cute puppy -- illustrating how users can restrict the content that appears in their feed. An intro video implores users to "treat everyone like fam."

The idea, according to an official announcement, is to make community guidelines that are normally buried in FAQ pages more accessible. "At TikTok, we believe that you are your most authentic self when you’re safe and in control," the release continues. "With this video series, we believe we struck a balance between educational and entertaining in a way that will empower you to own your TikTok experience."

The series also highlights what appears to be a new custom comment feature, allowing TikTok users to filter out words or phrases from comments on their videos. Users can also choose to only let friends leave comments on the content they post.

All this comes amid a surge in growth for the company, which merged with similar lip-sync video app musical.ly last year and is owned by Chinese media firm ByteDance. App analytics company Sensor Tower recently reported that TikTok has crossed 1 billion installs on the App Store and Google Play, putting it on pace to surpass Instagram and Facebook in yearly downloads. Earlier this month, TikTok celebrated "Safer Internet Day" with a #BetterMeBetterInternet global campaign that included in-app quizzes and a video challenge.

Like TikTok, Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat all have "safety center" sections on their websites. In November, Facebook quietly launched a competitor to TikTok: Lasso, which lets users shoot and edit 15-second videos and add music from a massive library of licensed tracks. Watch one of TikTok's new safety videos below.