TikTok to set daily screen time limit of one hour by default for users under 18 | CNN Business
TikTok announced on Wednesday that all users under the age of 18 will soon have their accounts default to a daily screen time limit of one hour, in one of the most aggressive moves yet by a social media company to prevent teenagers are constantly on the move.
Teen TikTok users will be able to opt out of this new default setting, which will roll out in the coming weeks. But the feature change could strengthen the digital well-being of younger users by requiring them to move away from stricter screen time limits rather than clearing the higher bar for accepting them.
If the 60-minute limit is reached, users will be prompted to enter a password, prompting them to make an active decision to extend the time they spend swiping videos from the app.
The move comes after TikTok and other social media platforms have faced years of scrutiny over their impact on young users, including their potential to lead teenagers down harmful rabbit holes. TikTok is also facing growing pressure from Washington over security concerns over its ties to China through parent company Bytedance, including renewed discussion of a possible U.S. ban on the short-form video app .
Cormac Keenan, TikTok’s head of trust and safety, said the company consulted researchers and experts from Boston Children’s Hospital’s Digital Wellness Lab when deciding on the time limits to set for teen users.
“While there is no collectively agreed position on how much screen time is ‘too much’, or even the impact of screen time more broadly, we recognize that teenagers often need additional support when they begin to explore the online world independently,” Keenan wrote. in a blog post.
Keenan added that if a teen chooses to turn off this new default limit and spends more than 100 minutes on TikTok per day, they will be prompted to set a daily screen time limit. “In our first month of testing, this approach increased usage of our screen time management tools by 234%,” Keenan wrote.
Keenan also announced some updates to the app’s Family Pairing feature, which allows parents or caregivers to link their TikTok account with their child’s and set controls. Parents will be able to filter out videos with words or hashtags they don’t want appearing in their teen’s feed, set a personalized daily screen time limit for their child, and set a custom schedule to mute TikTok notifications sent to their child.
Other platforms, such as Instagram and Snapchat, have similarly implemented parental controls and additional features that encourage teens to take a break and set limits.