TikTok recently announced new features to its video-sharing platform, including a feature that limits screen time for teenagers under 18 years of age.
Though the company aims to secure the well-being of its young users, the feature has the ability to be turned off.
The feature will be applied to every teen user by default in the coming weeks, with a time limit of 60 minutes, The Verge reported.
After hitting the screen time limit, users will have to enter a passcode to continue using the application. TikTok fans spending more than 100 minutes a day on the app, will be requested to set a new screen time limit, but they can disable the feature altogether as well.
TikTok claims the new time limit feature increased the use of its screen time management tools by 234 percent after its first month of testing it. An inbox notification will be sent to teen users informing them of their screen time on the platform in the past days, in an effort to make them more aware of their addiction to the app.
The social media company claims that it consulted current academic research and experts from the Digital Wellness Lab at Boston Children’s Hospital when deciding how much screen time limit should be placed for teens.
Cormac Keenan, Head of Trust and Safety at TikTok says, “While there’s no collectively-endorsed position on how much screen time is ‘too much’, or even the impact of screen time more broadly, we recognize that teens typically require extra support as they start to explore the online world independently.”
Users under the age of 13 will also be subjected to the same settings, but in their case their parents can set up the time limit and a passcode, allowing 30-minute additional time if the passcode is entered after the screen time limit is reached.
TikTok has also added Family Paring to the platform, a tool for parents to link their TikTok account to a younger user’s account. Settings can be customized and time limits can be set according to the day of the week.
Moreover, the company has added content control which will filter videos for children using hashtags or keywords.