TikTok announced today that every account belonging to a user below age 18 will automatically be set to a 60-minute daily screen time limit in the coming weeks.
“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,” wrote Cormac Keenan, Head of Trust and Safety, TikTok.
“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 people in our under 13 experience, 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 also shows that being more aware of how we spend our time can help us be more intentional about the decisions we make. So we’re also prompting 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,” Cormac added.
“This builds on a prompt we rolled out last year to encourage teens to enable screen time management; our tests found this helped increase the use of our screen time tools by 234%. In addition, we’ll send every teen account a weekly inbox notification with a recap of their screen time.”
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: “We’re bringing our 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,” weote Cormac.
“From our recent research, we know screen time is one of the topics parents most frequently discuss with their teens, and we want to support caregivers with relevant information to help them guide their teens.”
Mute notifications: TikTok is introducing 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.