Tik Tok, a hugely popular app with Gen Z, has recently come out with new parental controls. About 60% of the app’s US monthly users are ages 16 to 24, according to data from influencer marketing firm Mediakix. On the app, users typically share 15-second clips of themselves dancing, lip-syncing, doing comedy skits or participating in challenges that pop up on the platform. While young people are loving the app, parents are struggling with their own questions of how to handle the app, taking things like privacy, time management and in some cases, their kids’ hopes of overnight stardom.
CNN reports that, “On Wednesday, February 19, 2020, Tik Tok introduced a new feature called Family Safety Mode, which lets parents manage their kid’s activity and time spent on the platform. It’s available in certain European countries for now. With the new feature, parents can determine time limits for their child each day, with intervals including 40 minutes, 60 minutes and 90 minutes. Parents can also limit or turn off direct messages, and restrict certain content that might not be appropriate for all age groups.
“We want people to have fun on TikTok, but it’s also important for our community to look after their wellbeing which means having a healthy relationship with online apps and services,” Cormac Keenan, TikTok’s head of trust and safety for the EMEA region, wrote in a blog post.
“Last year, TikTok added a screen time management tool that allows users to set time limits for how long they spend on the platform every day. Earlier this month, the company said it’s partnered with popular TikTok stars to make short videos that encourage users to monitor how much they’re using the platform.” (CNN.com)
Project B3 has previously written about Tik Tok and it’s fun, creative vibe. We also love when technology companies take some accountability and also encourage parents to monitor what their kids are doing online and for how long. Project B3 especially likes that you can now turn off the direct messaging feature on Tik Tok, because time and time again, we hear that is where cyberbullying takes place and messages and interactions with dangerous strangers can seep in. Whether or not you need to monitor your child’s time they spend online or on Tik Tok is up to you and your family. But, I’m sure there are many parents will happily be using that feature.