TikTok’s New Features Aim to Help Teens and Families Manage App Usage

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TikTok is introducing new features aimed at helping teens and families better manage their app usage. With the help of the Digital Wellness Lab at Boston Children’s Hospital, TikTok has set a new default one-hour limit for users under the age of 18. While teens can increase their watch time if they choose to, they will have to enter a passcode to do so, encouraging them to make an “active decision” to continue watching. For users under the age of 13, a parent must authorize additional watch time in 30-minute increments.

TikTok is also doubling down on screen time management, requiring teens to set a daily limit when crossing the one-hour limit set by default and using the app for more than 100 minutes per day. Additionally, users will receive notifications about their usage habits, allowing them to better track and manage their time spent on the app.
While these new features are undoubtedly helpful for teens and families, some wonder if they are merely a response to regulatory pressures in the United States. Over the past year, there have been tensions between TikTok and US regulators, with businesses banning the app from company devices and some regulators pushing for a complete ban of the app in the country. In contrast, YouTube has been expanding its own short-form video service and incentivizing creators to use it.

Overall, the new features from TikTok are a welcome addition to the app’s robust set of tools, helping teens and families create a better balance when using the app. However, it remains to be seen if these features will be enough to quell regulatory concerns in the US and other countries, and whether TikTok’s competitors will continue to gain traction in the short-form video space.


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