TikTok addicts to benefit from in-app screen-time controls

TikTok addicts will be able to further limit their time on the app, the company has said, with a new pair of screen-time settings coming to the service imminently.

Like many of its competitors, TikTok already allows users to set a maximum screen-time allowance for each day, to help them stop idling away hours at a time scrolling through the “for you” page.

Now, the company will also let users set time limits before requiring a break after a certain amount of uninterrupted screen time – a figure the user can set themselves, if they wish.

A new screen-time dashboard will also provide feedback for TikTok users about the amount of time they spend on the app, how often they open it, and a breakdown of their day and night-time usage.

“At TikTok, we believe that our digital experiences should bring us joy, entertainment, connection and enrichment,” a TikTok blogpost said.

“Having a positive relationship with digital devices and apps isn’t just about measuring screen time, it’s also about feeling in control of how we use technology and ensuring that the time we spend online contributes positively to our sense of wellbeing.

“That’s why we’re taking a number of steps today to help support our community’s digital wellbeing as they create and discover on TikTok.”

The settings aren’t just being provided because of TikTok’s concern for users’ wellbeing. Social networks have a strong motivation to offer their own screen-time controls, in case people decide to activate the stricter controls built into both the iOS and Android smartphone platforms.

New requirements introduced last summer require technology companiesto be more aware of how their services are used by children.

Earlier this week Apple announced a new set of options in its own screen time feature, aimed at making it easier for parents to manage the screen time of their children. Kids can now send a text request to their parents for extra screen time and have it approved in-app, rather than needing to hand their phone over and have a passcode entered.

And parents can now automatically set up phones with a single collection of recommended settings based on the child’s age, and with screen-time limits and bedtimes enforced automatically.

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