TikTok to Launch 60-Minute Daily Screen Time Limit for Users Under 18

Image via Getty/Mario Tama
Image via Getty/Mario Tama

TikTok has announced several new features for teen users, including a 60-minute daily screen time limit.

To be clear, the limit does not full-on block a user from spending longer than 60 minutes on the platform. Instead, per an extended breakdown of the new features shared by TikTok on Wednesday, users under the age of 18 will be prompted to enter a passcode once the time limit is hit. According to TikTok, this aspect is being implemented so that affected users must “make an active decision” to go beyond 60 minutes.

Though an exact launch date for this and other new features was not revealed in Wednesday’s announcement, TikTok’s Head of Trust and Safety, Cormac Keenan, said that users under 18 will see the 60-minute limit being automatically set on their accounts “in the coming weeks.”

Wednesday’s press release pointed to research originally shared by the Internet Matters organization. Per TikTok, the informed opinions of Digital Wellness Lab experts also played a role in determining the length of the time limit.

“We believe digital experiences should bring joy and play a positive role in how people express themselves, discover ideas, and connect,” Keenan said.

The changes come amid ongoing criticism of TikTok by some in the U.S. During his presidency, for example, Trump repeatedly made headlines over his attempts to effectively ban TikTok in the country. While such efforts are more politically motivated and focused on the app’s China-based parent company ByteDance, others in government have more generally criticized social media in connection with mental health issues.

In January, U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy detailed his concerns about younger users on social media during a CNN panel discussion. In short, Murthy asserted that age 13 is “too early” to be active on social media.

“I think that it’s a time, early adolescence, where kids are developing their identity, their sense of self,” Murthy said at the time. “It’s a time where it’s really important for us to be thoughtful about what’s going into how they think about their own self-worth and their relationships.”

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