TikTok Lite: EU demands answers on money-for-views version

Image source, Getty Images

  • Author, Imran Rahman-Jones
  • Role, Technology journalist

TikTok was given 24 hours to respond to the European Commission over a version of the app that pays users for watching videos.

TikTok Lite launched this week in France and Spain.

European Commissioner Thierry Breton compared it to the idea of ​​“light” cigarettes, questioning whether it was “as addictive and toxic”.

TikTok said in a statement that it would “respond to the request for information.”

It says it has no current plans to launch the Lite app in other European countries.

A stripped-down version of the regular platform, Lite’s Tasks & Rewards feature pays users the equivalent of pennies per day for watching videos and interacting on the app.

The European Commission has asked TikTok for details of the risk assessment it carried out before launching this feature.

His concerns include the impact on children, mental health and substance abuse.

The Commission says it wants information “on the measures that the platform has put in place to mitigate these systemic risks”, and has set the deadline for April 26.

Ignore Twitter content

Allow Twitter content?

This article contains content provided by Twitter. We ask for your permission before uploading anything, as they may use cookies and other technologies. You may want to read Twitter cookies policy And Privacy Policy before accepting. To view this content, choose “accept and continue”.

Please note: The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.

End of Twitter content

Through the Tasks & Rewards feature, users can earn coins for “tasks” such as watching, liking, or sharing videos.

According to TikTok, the maximum daily screen time eligible for rewards is one hour, while users will be able to earn no more than around €1 (£0.85) per day.

Users will also need to prove they are over 18 to be eligible to earn rewards.

According to French newspaper Le Monde, which tested the feature, users can only earn rewards on videos suggested by their algorithmic feeds and not on videos they specifically search for.

“Users have no choice,” says the newspaper. “Only viewing the content offered by the application is rewarded.”

The report also compares this feature to a video game, “offering its players rewards based on their activity to keep them coming back.”

The rewards program is a “completely different approach” to pursuing social media’s goal of keeping people engaged, according to Dr Sarah Hodge, a cyberpsychologist at Bath Spa University.

“They’re making it much more explicit and rewarding people…much more openly,” Dr Hodge, an expert on video games and digital addiction, told the BBC.

She added that the rewards could have a big effect even if they are modest in financial terms.

“It’s very motivating and nice to get rewards, and I think it only sets us back,” she said.

This can be problematic for those trying to reduce their time spent on the app.

“If (someone) tried to reduce the amount of time they spend on it and there are additional things to try to keep people engaged, that’s going to cause friction,” Dr. Hodge said.

The EU against TikTok

The EU’s Digital Services Act, which came into force last year, gave the bloc more power to take on big tech companies.

It is within the framework of these new laws that the Commission demanded responses from TikTok.

In February, the Commission opened formal proceedings against the social media company, investigating whether it had broken rules, including on data protection, child protection and the control of harmful content.

At the time, TikTok said it would cooperate with the investigation and continue to work with online safety experts.

News Source :
Gn bussni

Sara Adm

Aimant les mots, Sara Smith a commencé à écrire dès son plus jeune âge. En tant qu'éditeur en chef de son journal scolaire, il met en valeur ses compétences en racontant des récits impactants. Smith a ensuite étudié le journalisme à l'université Columbia, où il est diplômé en tête de sa classe.Après avoir étudié au New York Times, Sara décroche un poste de journaliste de nouvelles. Depuis dix ans, il a couvert des événements majeurs tels que les élections présidentielles et les catastrophes naturelles. Il a été acclamé pour sa capacité à créer des récits captivants qui capturent l'expérience humaine.
Back to top button