TikTok 60-minute daily limit for under-18s plus more parental controls as new ‘well-being features’ announced
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TikTok is introducing seven new ‘well-being features’ to look after teens, families and the wider community on the social media platform. TikTok has said it is improving screen time controls with more custom options, introducing new default settings for teen accounts, and expanding Family Pairing with more parental controls.
In the coming weeks, every account belonging to a user below the age of 18 will automatically be set to a 60-minute daily screen time limit. When deciding how long to permit teens before their time is up, TikTok consulted the current academic research and experts from the Digital Wellness Lab at Boston Children’s Hospital.
TikTok said while there’s ‘no collectively-endorsed position on how much screen time is ‘too much’ they recognise that teens require extra support as they start to explore the online world independently. If the 60-minute limit is reached, teens will be prompted to enter a passcode to continue watching, requiring them to make an active decision to extend that time.
Research also shows that being more aware of how much time is spent on social media can help users be more conscious about how much time is spent scrolling, so TikTok is also prompting teens to set a daily screen time limit. In the first month of testing this tool, the use of screen time management tools increased by 234%. TikTok will also send each teen a weekly inbox notification with a recap of their screen time.
The company says these features add to their “robust” existing safety settings for teen accounts. For instance, those aged 13-15 have their accounts set to private by default, enabling teens to make informed choices about what they choose to share, when, and with whom. Direct messaging is only available to those age 16 and older and to host a LIVE, community members must be at least 18.
TikTok’s new well-being features
Default screen time settings for teens
- Every account belonging to someone below age 18 will automatically be set to a 60-minute daily screen time limit.
- If they turn off this limit, and spend more than 100 minutes on TikTok in a day they will receive a prompt to set a daily screen time limit
- A weekly inbox notification with a recap of their screen time for every teen account.
New Family Pairing features
- The ability to set a custom daily screen time limit for their teens, which they can adjust for each day of the week.
- The screen time dashboard provides caregivers with summaries of time on the app, the number of times TikTok was opened, and a breakdown of the total time spent during the day and night.
- A new setting allows parents to set a custom schedule to mute TikTok notifications.
New features for everyone on TikTok
- Everyone will soon be able to set their own customised screen time limits for each day of the week and set a schedule to mute notifications.