TikTok Releases New Features For Teens and Families

By on March 3, 2023 0 188Views

TikTok firmly believes the digital experiences should bring joy and play a positive role in how people express themselves, discover ideas, and connect. As a result, TikTok will release new features for teens and families to help improve their screen time tool with more custom options. The new TikTok features will introduce new default settings for teen accounts, and expands Family Pairing with more parental controls.

Changes to help teens manage their time on TikTok

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. While there’s no collectively-endorsed position on the ‘right’ amount of screen time or even the impact of screen time more broadly, TikTok consulted the current academic research and experts from the Digital Wellness Lab at Boston Children’s Hospital in choosing this limit. If the 60-minute limit is reached, teens will be prompted to enter a passcode in order to continue watching, requiring them to make an active decision to extend that time.

For those under 13 users, the daily screen time limit will also be set to 60 minutes, and a parent or guardian will need to set or enter an existing passcode to enable 30 minutes of additional watch time.

Research  shows that being more aware of how we spend our time can help us be more intentional about the decisions we make. So TikTok is hoping to prompt teens to set a daily screen time limit if they opt out of the 60-minute default and spend more than 100 minutes on TikTok in a day. This builds on a prompt they rolled out last year to encourage teens to enable screen time management. Their tests found this helped increase the use of TikTok’s screen time tools by 234%. In addition, the app will send every teen account a weekly inbox notification with a recap of their screen time.

These features add to their robust existing safety settings for teen accounts. For instance, those aged 13-15 have their accounts set to private by default, enabling teens to make informed choices about what they choose to share, when, and with whom. Direct messaging is only available to those age 16 and older and to host a LIVE, community members must be at least 18.

Helping families have conversations about digital well-being

When teens need support, parents or caregivers are often the first people they can turn to, making them one of the most important partners. As TiKTok works to innovate on how they can empower families, they are adding three new features to Family Pairing:

  • Custom daily screen time limits: Caregivers will be able to use Family Pairing to customize the daily screen time limit for their teen – including choosing different time limits depending on the day of the week – giving families more choices to match screen time to school schedules, holiday breaks, or family travel.
  • Screen time dashboard: TikTok will bring their screen time dashboard to Family Pairing, which provides summaries of time on the app, the number of times TikTok was opened, and a breakdown of total time spent during the day and night. From recent research, screen time is one of the topics parents most frequently discuss with their teens, and it is TikTok’s goal to support caregivers with relevant information to help them guide their teens.
  • Mute notifications: Notifications help us stay connected, but there are times when it’s important to be uninterrupted. TikTok will introduce a new setting that enables parents to set a schedule to mute notifications for their teen. Accounts aged 13-15 already do not receive push notifications from 9pm and accounts aged 16-17 have push notifications disabled from 10pm.

Every teen is different, and so is every family. TikTok vows to remain focused on reaching parents with the information they need about TikTok. Their efforts are through partnerships with creators, industry experts, and advertising campaigns focused on safety features. Their hope is that these features will continue to help families establish an ongoing dialogue about safety and well-being in the digital world.

New screen time controls for everyone

In addition to bringing these new features to Family Pairing, everyone will soon be able to set their own customized screen time limits for each day of the week and set a schedule to mute notifications. In addition, TikTok will roll 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.

TikTok will continue to invest in improving their 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.