According to recent reports, TikTok has deleted more than 500,000 Italian accounts after the intervention of the Italian data protection regulator. The Italian regulator ordered TikTok to recheck the age of all Italian users and block any access by users under 13 years old. Between February 9th and April 21st, 12.5 million Italian users were asked whether they were over 13 years old. As of now, over 500,000 Italian accounts have been deleted due to suspicion that they are under 16. Another 400,000 accounts had to be deleted for claiming to be under 13 years of age.
TikTok said that it will take a series of measures to prevent Italian users under the age of 13 from using the app. In January this year, a 10-year-old Italian girl participated in TikTok’s “Coma Challenge”. She strangled her neck with a belt to challenge how long she could hold her breath. In the end, the young girl died of suffocation.
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Italy announced on January 22 that it temporarily prohibits users whose age cannot be guaranteed from accessing TikTok. The Chinese short video has been a sensation and it’s very popular among teenagers. However, there needs to be some control otherwise things can quickly get out of control with kids.
TikTok tests in-app purchases
According to recent reports, TikTok is currently testing in-app purchases for its platform. Despite TikTok’s recent travails especially due to the ban threats from the U.S., the company is still thriving. The social media giant seeks to compete with the likes of Facebook. The reports cor now claims that TikTok will cooperate with streetwear brand, Hype, and other brands to test in-app sales in Europe.
Obviously, this plan will significantly increase the competition between TikTok and Facebook. Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok already has this feature and it is a huge success in China. The company is currently trying to cooperate with merchants in different countries including the U.K. If TikTok succeeds, millions of users will be able to buy products directly from TikTok. The current testing is a precursor to the launch of a wider range of global e-commerce services. As of now, only special participants can use this feature in Europe. Also, there is no official information as to when it will officially release this feature. In fact, we do not even know if the company will eventually launch the feature.
The company said in an email statement: “TikTok has been testing and learning e-commerce products and partnerships, and we are constantly exploring new ways” to add value. “