TikTok sets one-hour daily screen time limit for under-18s

The new measure will be rolled out in the coming weeks

TikTok is setting a default 60-minute daily screen time limit for users aged under 18.

If youngsters hit the limit, they will have to enter a passcode to continue to use the video-sharing app for longer that day.

The idea is that the user will “make an active decision to extend that time” Cormac Keenan, head of trust and safety at TikTok, said in a blog post.

For accounts belonging to users under the age of 13, a parent or guardian will have to set or enter an existing passcode to allow half an hour of extra viewing time after the initial 60-minute limit is reached.

But teens will be able to opt out of the new measure, which will be rolled out “in the coming weeks”. But even then, when teens over 13 reach 100 minutes watching the app, they’ll receive an in-app prompt alerting them to their usage.

Mr Keenan wrote: “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.”

Research shows that being more aware of how we spend our time can help us be more intentional about the decisions we make.

TikTok brought in a prompt last year to encourage teens to manage their screen time which it said “helped increase the use of our screen time tools by 234 per cent”.

In addition, TikTok will send every teen account a weekly inbox notification with a recap of their screen time.

The app is also expanding its parental controls through its Family Pairing tool, including a screen time dashboard to monitor children’s use and the ability to mute app notifications within chosen time frames.

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