TikTok Rolls Out Tools Enabling Parents To Police Screen Time, Direct Messaging

By 02/20/2020
TikTok Rolls Out Tools Enabling Parents To Police Screen Time, Direct Messaging

TikTok is introducing new tools enabling parents not only to police who their children are interacting with on the snacky video platform, but also to limit the amount of time they spend on the app daily.

In a company blog post, TikTok’s head of trust and safety, EMEA, Cormac Keenan, outlines the new feature, dubbed Family Safety Mode. The tool suite enables parents to link their TikTok accounts to those of their teen children, gaining access to a number of controls concerning what TikTok refers to as “digital well-being.”

Parents can set daily time limits for their children’s TikTok accounts, and also limit who they can send direct messages to (or turn off direct messaging altogether). In Family Safety Mode, parents can also initiate a new ‘Restricted Mode’ — which restricts content that TikTok determines may not be appropriate for all ages.

Screen Time Management is not new; TikTok first introduced the capability in April 2019. That said, the platform is now making it more visible in users’ feeds via video prompts starring some of the app’s most-followed creators. The prompts are part of TikTok’s ongoing You’re In Control safety video series — originally launched last February — in which popular creators seek to promote safety features and other best practices. Previous videos have sought to teach users how to block other users, how to filter comments, how to report inappropriate content and direct harassment, and more.

Family Safety Mode and in-feed Screen Time Management are launching today in the U.K., and will roll out to additional markets in coming weeks, Keenan said.