With TikTok on track to become the next billion-user platform, there are significant concerns around how content posted in the app can impact young kids, with various regions even implementing bans on the app over indecent and offensive material that can be accessed by youngsters through random discovery.
Of course, such concerns are present across the web more broadly, but the popularity of TikTok among young users makes it a more significant issue in many respects. Indeed, according to reports, more than a third of TikTok's user base is aged under 14.
That, understandably, has many parents looking to manage how their kids interact, and who they interact with, within the app, which is why TikTok added a Family Pairing feature back in August to help parents stay on top of their kids' usage.
And now, TikTok's adding some new elements to beef up its parental controls.
‘Family Pairing’ settings are here to help provide a family-friendly experience for everyone! #ParentsOfTikTok♬ original sound - TikTok Tips
As you can see here, via Family Pairing, parents can link their TikTok account to their teen's, in order to access a range of content and privacy settings. The tools include screen time management, restricted mode for selected content, and DM limits.
In addition to these, parents will now also have access to these control tools:
- Search - Parents will be able to set restrictions on what their child can search for in the app, based on content types, users, hashtags, or sounds
- Comments - Parents will be able to dictate who can comment on their child's videos (everyone, friends, or no one)
- Discoverability - Parents will be able to switch their child's account to private (approved friends) or public
- Liked Videos - Parents will also be able to control whether others can see the videos that their child has liked
The options provide more reassurance for parents, which is increasingly important in 2020 as kids spend more and more time online due to COVID-19 restrictions. Keeping kids entertained at home is a challenge at the best of time, and when you factor in working from home arrangements as well, it's very difficult for parents to stay on top of everything that their child is doing online, with almost everything now connected to the web in some way.
By giving parents more ways to stay on top of how their kids are interacting, they can feel safer in the knowledge that their child is safe, and isn't falling victim to scammers or creeps looking to prey on youngsters within social apps.
They don't cover everything, and there are still concerns around TikTok content and trends, but the tools will help parents better manage their kids' screen time - which will become even more important in the upcoming holiday season, which again looks set to be severely restricted due to lockdowns and containment measures.