TikTok, previously known as Musical.ly, is a video streaming and sharing platform that allows users to make 15-second videos. It has generated more than 1.5 billion downloads.
It has shot to the top of the social media popularity chart for eight to 12-year-olds in Ireland and has been added to App Watch, an initiative of DCU's Tacklebullying.ie website, which aims to guide parents, teachers and pupils on safer use of the internet. Other platforms featured on App Watch include Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat and WhatsApp.
DCU's Tijana Milosevic said children used TikTok to raise awareness about issues such as bullying and depression, "so it can be used for empowerment".
But it was also popular for posting lip-sync videos and included an option to comment on videos, raising concerns, she said, about "what would happen if someone post a video and others post mocking replies. This is the type of bullying that can happen".