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Business News/ News / World/  TikTok, Snapchat growing in popularity among UK children, regulator data shows
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TikTok, Snapchat growing in popularity among UK children, regulator data shows

TikTok, Snapchat are growing popular among UK children, suggests the regulator data. The data showed that half of the country's population of age group 3-17 use TikTok or Snapchat

FILE - In this Sept. 28, 2020 file photo, a view of the TikTok app logo, in Tokyo. The Biden administration is putting on hold a deal brokered by the Trump administration that would have had Oracle and Walmart buying a big stake in popular video app TikTok, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato, File) (AP)Premium
FILE - In this Sept. 28, 2020 file photo, a view of the TikTok app logo, in Tokyo. The Biden administration is putting on hold a deal brokered by the Trump administration that would have had Oracle and Walmart buying a big stake in popular video app TikTok, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato, File) (AP)

The number of children using TikTok and Snapchat rose last year in Britain, according to research published by media regulator Ofcom.

Around half of those aged between 3 and 17 use TikTok and Snapchat, figures collected as part of the watchdog’s annual survey of children's and parents’ online attitudes showed.

Also Read: TikTok ban in US? Lawmakers to move ahead with bill amid China surveillance row

The study found a slight increase in both apps’ popularity in the past year, with TikTok now being used by 53% of children (up from 50%), and Snapchat by 46% (up from 42%).

Both companies have faced mounting pressure over user safety in recent months.

Various governments around the world have banned TikTok from official devices, citing anxieties over its relationship with the Chinese state, while Snapchat has been criticised for not removing more underage users from its platform.

Also Read: ‘No evidence’, TikTok CEO calls India's ban ‘hypothetical and theoretical’

Ofcom’s annual report on attitudes towards media found children’s usage of YouTube, Whatsapp and Instagram remained steady (88%, 55% and 41%, respectively), while the popularity of Meta's Facebook platform declined (from 40% to 34%).

“Children of all ages reported choosing to watch ‘dramatic’ content in various forms when selecting TV shows and films to watch," the report said.

Also Read: Top US cyber official says TikTok represents 'strategic' challenge

Ofcom also found the proportion of 3- and 4-year-olds using Snapchat had risen to 17% in 2022, up from 12% the previous year.

A TikTok spokesperson said government bans were based on “fundamental misconceptions" around TikTok’s safety protocols.

A Snap spokesperson said criticism of its record on underage users misrepresented its efforts, saying it blocks and deletes tens of thousands of attempts by underage UK users to create Snapchat accounts monthly.

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This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.

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Published: 29 Mar 2023, 06:39 AM IST
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