TikTok has announced new default settings that will be added to under-18s' accounts as part of parental guidance controls, including one that will limit their screen time to 60 minutes per day. The settings can be turned off, but will be activated by default when the update arrives.
“In the coming weeks, every account belonging to a user below age 18 will automatically be set to a 60-minute daily screen time limit,” write TikTok in a blog post.
“While there's no collectively-endorsed position on the 'right' amount of screen time or even the impact of screen time more broadly, we consulted the current academic research and experts from the Digital Wellness Lab at Boston Children's Hospital in choosing this limit.”
The rules will be even stricter for under-13s, for whom parents or guardians will have to input a password to extend their screen time by 30 minutes each time. If a teen spends more than 100 minutes a day watching TikTok but turns the setting off, they will be prompted to add a time limit to encourage better screen time management.
An extra suite of parental controls and family tools are also being added alongside the time cap, including Family Pairing functions that will expand the screen time tool.
"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,” said Larry Magid, ConnectSafely President & CEO.