TikTok launches dedicated STEM feed in Europe

Alex Omenye
Alex Omenye

TikTok is doubling down on its commitment to promoting educational content within its platform. The company revealed on Tuesday its plans to expand its specialized STEM feed across Europe, starting with the U.K. and Ireland, following its initial launch in the U.S. last year.

This dedicated STEM feed will now automatically appear alongside the “For You” and “Following” feeds for users under 18, while users over 18 can opt-in through the app’s “content preferences” settings. The feed offers English-speaking content with auto-translate subtitles.

TikTok reports that since its U.S. debut, 33% of users have activated the STEM feed, with one-third of teenagers accessing it weekly. STEM-related content on the platform has grown by 24% in the U.S. since its introduction, totaling nearly 15 million videos globally over the past three years.

To ensure the quality and suitability of content on the STEM feed, TikTok is expanding partnerships with Common Sense Networks and Poynter. Common Sense Networks will assess content appropriateness, while Poynter will evaluate its reliability. Only content meeting both criteria will qualify for inclusion in the STEM feed.

This initiative arrives amid criticism of TikTok for exposing minors to potentially harmful content and employing addictive design tactics to prolong user engagement. In response, the European Union is investigating TikTok’s compliance with the Digital Services Act to safeguard user well-being and curb addictive behaviors.

With this announcement, TikTok aims to position itself as an educational platform for its youthful audience, countering regulatory concerns worldwide. The company has previously cited the STEM feed to refute allegations of harm to young users, as CEO Shou Chew highlighted its educational value in congressional hearings held in March 2023 and January 2024.

Share this Article
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *