TikTok recently announced new features for teens and their families. The short-form video social network will automatically set screen time limits for users under the age of 18. Every account belonging to a user below the age of 18 will automatically be set to a 60-minute daily screen time limit. TikTok’s terms of service, in compliance with the U.S. Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, states that users must be at least 13 years old to sign up for an account and have full access to basic features on the platform. So this new screen limit feature will only affect 13-17 year olds. If these users choose to opt out of the 60-minute default setting and spend more than 100 minutes on the platform in one day, TikTok will prompt them to set a daily screen time limit. They will also send a weekly inbox notification with a recap of the user’s screen time. Users can also set a preferred cutoff time at night, and the app will send a prompt reminder to log off at that time. Users will also be able to mute their notifications so they aren’t prompted to over-use the app.
Here are the current rules and account settings for TikTok:
- Users under age 13 cannot post videos or comment, and the content is curated for a younger audience.
- For kids aged 13 to 15, accounts are private by default. Only friends can comment on videos, and other users can’t ‘duet’ with videos.
- Only users aged 16 and over can livestream and use direct messaging, and only users over 18 can buy, send, or receive virtual gifts.
Not only will the platform be introducing new default settings for teen accounts and adding to this list, they will also be expanding Family Pairing with more parental controls. Parents can use ‘restricted mode’ to reduce mature content or ‘family safety mode’ to pair their account with their kid’s account to control settings completely. TikTok says they are making these changes to support the well-being of their users. TikTok says, “We hope these features will continue to help families establish an ongoing dialogue about safety and well-being in our digital world.”
At Pipeline, we aren’t too positive that some users won’t lie about their age when creating an account, but we are in agreement that we all need to spend a little less time watching short-form videos (adults and children alike). What are your thoughts on this change?
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