Report: YouTube and TikTok have the most trackers among social media apps

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According to a new report from AtlasVPN, YouTube and TikTok are using the most trackers to collect data on their users. In addition, applications in the magazine, news, and sports categories tend to have the most first and third-party trackers.

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Advertising companies and others use trackers to follow users’ activity around the web to build a profile to serve advertising to them. First-party trackers are used by the company you might be visiting, such as YouTube, and third-party trackers are used by other companies which the first-party allows. TikTok had the most third-party trackers, while YouTube had fewer.

According to the recent findings by the Atlas VPN team, YouTube and TikTok have the most trackers among social media apps. In addition, applications in the magazine, news, and sports categories tend to have the most first and third-party trackers.

The data is based on URL Genius research across 200 iOS apps using the Record App Activity feature that lets to see which apps communicate to various networks. Each app was downloaded and opened only once without registering for the service to understand the starting set of connections.

AtlasVPN

Before analyzing social media apps, let’s understand why third-party trackers are bad. Third-party trackers are placed by a website you haven’t even visited. These third parties can embed trackers on websites all over the internet, allowing them to collect massive amounts of data on you and share it with whomever they choose.

The YouTube application has 14 trackers in total, 10 first-party and 4 third-party contacts. On the other hand, TikTok app trackers are more concerning as 13 out of 14 are third-party network contacts. As such trackers lead to third-party domains, it is unclear what data is being shared.

Twitter and Telegram each have 9 trackers in their iOS applications. However, all 9 contacts in Telegram lead to third-party domains, while the Twitter app tracks users with 6 third-party and 3 first-party contacts.

Facebook and Snapchat apps each have just 1 third-party tracker. At the same time, the Messenger and WhatsApp applications have only 1 first-party contact. On average, social media apps have 6 trackers, of which 4 are third-party, and 2 are first-party contacts. Not logging into the app’s services contributed to fewer trackers on social media applications.

AtlasVPN

You can read the full report on TikTok and social media app trackers on AtlasVPN’s website.

What do you think of TikTok and YouTube? Please share your thoughts on any of the social media pages listed below. You can also comment on our MeWe page by joining the MeWe social network.

Last Updated on February 2, 2022.

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