#TechPH - New features for teens and families on TikTok

New features for teens, families, and our larger community are announced by TikTok. Digital experiences, in our opinion, should be enjoyable and contribute positively to how people express themselves, find ideas, and connect. With additional customizable options, new default settings for teen accounts, and an expansion of Family Pairing with more parental restrictions, we're enhancing our screen time tool.

Changes to help teens manage their time on TikTok

Any account owned by a user under the age of 18 will soon be automatically put to a 60-minute daily screen time limit. Although while there isn't a universally accepted view on the "proper" amount of screen time or the effects of screen time in general, we chose this restriction after consulting the most recent academic studies and specialists from the Digital Wellbeing Lab at Boston Children's Hospital. Teens will be need to input a passcode in order to continue watching after the 60-minute time limit has been met, requiring them to actively choose to do so.

According to research, being more conscious of how we use our time can help us make decisions that are more deliberate. As a result, if teens choose to deviate from the 60-minute norm and spend more than 100 minutes per day on TikTok, it will encourage them to set a daily screen time limit. Based on the studies, Tiktok discovered that this strategy assisted in increasing use of our screen time tools by 234%. It builds on a prompt we introduced last year to urge teens to activate screen time management. Also, we'll provide a weekly inbox email with a summary of each teen account's screen use.

These features add to our 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 our most important partners. As we continue to innovate on how we empower families, we're 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: 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. 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: Notifications help us stay connected, but there are times when it's important to be uninterrupted. We're 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.

 Every teen is different, and so is every family. That's why we remain focused on reaching parents with the information they need about TikTok. We do this through partnerships with creators, industry experts, and advertising campaigns focused on safety features. We'll also continue to surface Family Pairing information to some of our users in-app to help them understand the options that may be useful to them or someone they know. We hope these features will continue to help families establish an ongoing dialogue about safety and well-being in our digital world.

New screen time controls for everyone

We want our community to feel in control of their TikTok experience. 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, we're rolling 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.

We'll continue to invest in improving our 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.

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