TikTok recently announced several new changes and settings for users under 18 to try to minimize the amount of time that younger users spend on the app, a statistic that has been rising significantly. Some changes will include screen time limits, more parental controls and a sleep time feature. The changes will take effect in a few weeks and will be automatic.
“I don’t think teens are actually going to use the new features, because there is already something like it on the app where you can set up a time limit and a video that tells you to go and out or drink water,” freshman Carizma Johnson said. “People are only going to use it if they want to cut back on their screen time and maybe discipline themselves but most people won’t.”
TikTok will give minors 60 minutes before requiring a password to keep watching. Parents will be able to set specific limits and other restrictions on the account. Users will have to change the settings if they want to be able to keep watching after 60 minutes.
“I feel like parents may use this to their advantage to restrict screen time for their kids,” freshman Amelie Edwards said. “However, I feel like teens may not use this feature as much as developers want.”
TikTok’s Head of Trust and Safety Cormac Keenan released a public statement regarding the upcoming changes.
“We believe digital experiences should bring joy and play a positive role in how people express themselves, discover ideas and connect,” Keenan said.
According to TikTok, the changes are for younger users to be aware of the time they spend on the app. The social media company also made this decision after consulting researchers from the Digital Wellness Lab at Boston Children’s Hospital.
“We recognize that teens typically require extra support as they start to explore the online world independently,” Keenan said.
TikTok’s innovative methods of getting teen users to take note of their time on the app is an approach they hope will achieve more successful results.
“We’ll continue to invest in improving our current features and introducing new tools to help people stay mindful of the time they spend on TikTok,” the TikTokComms Twitter page said.