TikTok to add 60 minute screen time limits for children and teens with passcodes needed in new Family Pairing features
TikTok has announced plans to limit screen time on the app for children and teens to 60 minutes a day.
Users of the video-sharing social media site will have to enter a passcode after one hour in order to continue watching under new features being introduced for families.
The change - expected to come into force in the coming weeks - will automatically apply to every account belonging to a registered user under the age of 18.
While, says the social media giant, there is no 'collectively endorsed position' on the ideal amount of screen time for youngsters, or the impact it has, it has consulted latest academic research and experts from Boston Children's Hospital in choosing the 60-minute window.
If the hour limit is reached teenagers will be prompted to enter a passcode to continue watching - while for those under 13, using the limited app experience, the daily screen time limit will also be set to 60 minutes and a parent or guardian using a set passcode will need to enter it to activate 30 minutes of additional watch time.
Alongside this every teenager with a TikTok account will be sent a weekly inbox notification detailing their recent screen time.
Tik Tok, which says it wants to help families 'have conversations' about digital wellbeing, is also adding some extra features to family pairing, the system which allows households to link and monitor accounts.
This will include custom daily screen time limits where parents and carers can adjust the cap for their teen depending on the day of the week or to fall in line with school timetables, holiday breaks or family trips.
There will also be screen time dashboards, which provide comprehensive summaries of the app, the number of times it was opened and the exact times spent using it both day and night.
And it is bringing in the option to mute notifications - a new setting for parents to enable them to switch off notifications for their children - adding to TikTok's existing features that stop those with accounts aged 13 to 15 getting push notifications from 9pm while users aged 16 and 17 have push notifications disabled from 10pm.
While there are big changes for families using the app, new screen time controls, promises TikTok will soon be available to everyone.
On its website it explained: "We want our community to feel in control of their TikTok experience. In addition to bringing these new features to Family Pairing, 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.
"In addition, we're rolling out a sleep reminder to help people more easily plan when they want to be offline at night. People can set a time, and when it's reached, a pop-up will remind them it's time to log off."