Here's How TikTok Plans To Limit Screen Time For Under-18s

Every TikTok account held by a user under the age of 18 will have a default 60-minute daily screen time limit, the social media giant has said.

Youngsters will be prompted to enter a passcode and make an “active decision” to keep watching once they hit the limit, meaning they can opt-out of threshold.

A parent or guardian of users under the age of 13 will have to enter a passcode to allow 30 minutes of extra viewing time once the initial 60-minute limit is reached.

It comes as fears grow over the addictive app that research suggests is used by more than two-thirds of American teenagers.

Cormac Keenan, head of trust and safety at TikTok, said the plan would be rolled out “in the coming weeks”.

He said TikTok came up with the one-hour limit by consulting academic research and experts from the Digital Wellness Lab at Boston Children’s Hospital.

Keenan also said that the firm will also begin prompting teens to set a daily screen time limit if they opt out of the 60-minute default. The company will send weekly inbox notifications to teen accounts with a screen time recap.

The changes come amid growing concerns among different governments about the app’s security and ability to alter its algorithm to push certain posts.

The European Commission has banned TikTok from being installed on official devices. The UK is yet to follow.

The update also mirrors restrctions on gaming imposed on minors in China, where TikTok’s parent company ByteDance is based.

In 2021, Chinese authorities issued new rules that barred minors from playing online games for only an hour a day and only on Fridays, weekends and public holidays.

A report released late last year suggested that TikTok’s algorithms are promoting videos about self-harm and eating disorders to vulnerable teens.

TikTok announced a number of changes for all users, including the ability to set customised screen time limits for each day of the week and allowing users to set a schedule to mute notifications.