TikTok is setting a 60-minute daily screen time for account holders under the age of 18.
In the coming weeks, teenagers will now have to enter a passcode to continue using the app past the limited time on that day and receive a weekly notification from the app with a summary of their screen time.
Owners, ByteDance, are introducing the feature to help people ‘stay in control’ of their use on the app. Efforts were made last year when the app globally encouraged teens to manage their screen times. TikTok claims it has helped “increase the use of our screen time tools by 274%”.
This new limit has arisen amid concerns and lawsuits about social media’s impact on children’s mental health. However, young users will be able to opt out of this new measure if they want to with the option to continue using the app even after the notification has come up.
Anyone who opts out of the limit and uses the app for longer than 100 minutes a day will receive a prompt from TikTok to set up their own screen time limit for the day. A Family Pairing option will be available where parents of the children will be able to set screen time limits and access a dashboard which lets them view a breakdown of app usage.
TikTok is already receiving backlash from its younger users as they express their distress on social media. A young girl has tweeted: I just got told by TikTok to check my screen time and take a break from TikTok. TIKTOK TOLD ME TO GET OFF TIKTOK.”.
I just got told by TikTok to check my screen time and take a break from TikTok. TIKTOK TOLD ME TO GET OFF TIKTOK.
— m 𓆏 (@merson420) March 3, 2023
Users over the age of 18, have also been critical of the apps new feature, claiming that it won’t limit screen time: “As someone who spent an unhealthy amount of time online during my childhood (thank you Neopets, Club Penguin & Tumblr) I can easily say TikTok’s 1-hour time-limit for under 18s won’t reduce screen time”.
As someone who spent an unhealthy amount of time online during my childhood (thank you Neopets, Club Penguin & Tumblr) I can easily say TikTok’s 1-hour time-limit for under 18s won’t reduce screen time https://t.co/U7sohxj6Zc
— Caroline Edwards (@carolinege_) March 3, 2023
TikTok is one of several social media apps that has introduced time limiting options for minor users. Meta allows parents to limit how much time their kids spend on Instagram, for example and the devices kids use these apps on also have various options for parents. But these aren’t enabled by default like TikTok’s 60-minute notice will be.