The hugely popular short-form video app TikTok says that it is turning on new features that are designed to help teens spend less time in its app. Or, at least, be more aware of how much time they spend watching memes.
TikTok is one of the apps that some people have raised concerns about in recent years, with the app often proving too addictive for teens to turn down. Now it says it's going to limit teens to just 60 minutes of watching videos each day, although there are caveats to be considered.
The main caveat is that the whole thing can be disabled, rendering it useless.
They see me scrollin'
In a press release TikTok says that in the coming weeks, every account that is owned by anyone under the age of 18 will be automatically opted into the 60-minute limit. The outfit says that the time wasn't plucked out of thin air, either — it spoke to academic research and experts from the Digital Wellness Lab at Boston Children's Hospital, we're told.
"If the 60-minute limit is reached, teens will be prompted to enter a passcode in order to continue watching, requiring them to make an active decision to extend that time," TikTok explains. And things are slightly different for those who are under 13, too.
"For people in our under 13 experience, the daily screen time limit will also be set to 60 minutes, and a parent or guardian will need to set or enter an existing passcode to enable 30 minutes of additional watch time."
All of this can of course be disabled if that's something that everyone agrees on, although it might mean that few teens actually abide by that 60-minute limit in the end.
It isn't that TikTok itself is bad, per se. But the company clearly understands that people are concerned about the amount of time that people spend watching content there. Us? We're more concerned that every other video is someone talking into an AirPod like it's a microphone. Maybe they only have one of them and lost the other?
If that's you, fear not. We have some AirPods deals that will get you a pair of those things for your ears.
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Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.
Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.