tiktok launches new parental control tools and daily screen time limits

TikTok, the popular social media platform owned by ByteDance, is introducing today a set of new tools that parents can use to control how much time their children spend on its app along with some content moderation features.

In a blog post shared by the platform’s Head of Trust and Safety, Cormac Keenan, TikTok revealed that it has expanded the capabilities of its Family Pairing program – a tool that allows parents to link their accounts to those of their children to oversee the kind of content they have access to.

Three New Tools Have Been Added to TikTok’s Family Pairing Program

Three new features have been added to the tool including one that allows “caregivers” to set a customized daily screen time for each of their children and for every day of the week. This, according to TikTok, gives parents more flexibility to schedule how much time they will allow their kids to access the social media space if they are traveling, busy with lots of homework, or otherwise engaged in other similar activities.

In addition, TikTok has built a dashboard that shows a handful of relevant metrics to parents including how many times the app has been opened, the time that the kid has spent on it and the exact hours during which the app was used.

Also read: Best Parental Control Apps for 2023 | Top 10 Reviewed

Finally, caregivers can now mute the notifications that their children receive on their mobile devices when they believe they should not be interrupted or distracted. These customized locks are adding up to the standard notification blocks set by TikTok for teenagers and kids that prevented them from receiving push notifications after 9 pm.

“Family Pairing is an opportunity for parents and teens to collaborate on developing healthy online habits. It’s not parental control, it’s parental involvement and an opportunity for parents and teens to learn from each other.”, commented the President and Chief Executive Officer of ConnectSafely – a non-profit organization that educates the public about the use of online services and social media apps.

TikTok Will Now Set Daily Screen Time Limits by Default for Teens and Kids

Meanwhile, TikTok will start enforcing maximum daily screen times for teenage users. Starting today, users who are aged 18 years or less will be automatically locked out of the app once they spend 60 minutes in it on any given day.

Once that limit is reached, the user will be forced to enter a passcode to continue accessing the platform. Even though this is not a block per se for teens, it is an explicit warning that will prompt them to make a conscious decision if they would like to continue using the app or not.

Also read: Best TikTok Spy Apps: Top 10 for 2023

Teens are allowed to opt out of this 60-minute limit but the system will still prompt them to set a certain daily limit by themselves. TikTok indicated that a similar system prompt introduced last year led to a 234% increase in the use of the app’s screen time management tool by teens.

Meanwhile, for kids aged 13 or less, the limit will also be set to 60 minutes but the passcode required to unlock an additional 30 minutes will have to be given out by the caregiver.

According to a recent survey from Pew Research, 54% of teenagers believe that it would be hard to give up social media altogether. Meanwhile, an outstanding 55% indicated that they think they spend “the right amount of time” on these apps. These findings highlight how silent and unnoticeable an obsessive behavior in regards to social media apps could be among this cohort.

TikTok emphasized that there is no consensus in regards to the maximum desirable time that teenagers should spend on social media every day. To set these limits, the firm talked to researchers and experts from the Digital Wellness Lab at the Boston Children’s Hospital.

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