TikTok Sets Screen Time Limit

TikTok has implemented a 60-minute screen-time limit for all users under 18. Upon reaching the 60-minute limit, teens will be asked to enter a passcode to continue viewing videos on the social media app, "requiring them to make an active decision" whether to continue scrolling, the company said Wednesday. TikTok said teens can opt out of the feature if they choose, but they will be prompted to set a limit if they spend "more than 100 minutes on TikTok in a day." In the face of growing scrutiny from regulators and lawmakers over the safety of children on the platform as well as the security of the app itself, TikTok has taken steps to cut down the amount of screen time its young users consume.

 According to a Pew Research Center study published last August, 67% of American teenagers use TikTok, with 16% of all teens reporting that they are on it "constantly." According to a press statement, " as part of an ongoing effort to "bring joy and play a positive role in how people express themselves," the social media platform is increasing outreach to parents. "Every teen is different, and so is every family. That's why we remain focused on reaching parents with the information they need about TikTok," the company's head of trust and safety, Cormac Keenan, said in a statement. Also, the company is introducing the option for users to mute notifications on a scheduled basis, which the company claims has already been implemented to different degrees by users aged 13-17.

With TikTok, users can access an array of existing iOS and Android features within the app itself. As a result of Apple's iOS operating system's Focus mode and Screen Time functionality, users can set restrictions on their app usage and schedule notification activity. On Google's Android operating system, the Digital Wellbeing menu allows them to control how apps are used. Shou Zi Chew, the CEO of TikTok, will appear before the House Energy and Commerce committee later this month. As a result of multiple controversies, including revelations about employees spying on journalists and accessing the data of U.S. users, the U.S. subsidiary of Chinese-based ByteDance is facing both a national security probe and increased criticism. ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok, is being investigated by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) due to national security concerns. The investigation's scale and outside scrutiny have significantly increased in recent months since ByteDance acquired Musical.ly in 2017. The probe has been underway for years.