TikTok, the short-form video platform, has become a global sensation with more than one billion users.
The platform has previously stirred controversy regarding safety and security, and TikTok is now taking action to crack down on how much time young users spend on the app. On Wednesday, TikTok announced that it will roll out a series of new features directed at teens and families, specifically to limit screen time.
In the coming weeks, users under 18 will be restricted to 60 minutes of screen time per day. The limit can be overridden by entering a passcode, but users will have to make a conscious decision to stay on the app. A parent or guardian will be responsible for entering the passcode for users under 13, which will give them 30 extra minutes to spend on the app.
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TikTok referenced research by the organization Internet Matters when announcing the decision to set daily screen time limits. The nonprofit found that when individuals are aware of how much time they spend doing something, they are more likely to be intentional about how they use that time.
The company also noted that it worked with the Digital Wellness Lab at Boston Children’s Hospital to determine the time limit.
Other new features include custom daily screen limits for parents or guardians to customize a specific amount of time for kids to spend on the app, a screen time dashboard that will give a breakdown of app use and scheduled mute notifications.
The features are an extension of TikTok’s already existing initiatives to protect young users, including accounts being automatically set to private for individuals between the ages of 13 and 15.
“We’ll continue to invest in improving our current features as well as introducing new tools to help people stay in control as they express their creativity, make meaningful connections and enjoy culture-defining entertainment,” the company wrote in a statement.
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