TikTok is launching a new feature called ‘Family Pairing’ which allows parents to link their TikTok account to their teen’s and set restriction. Parents’ll be able to disable direct messages, turn on restricted content mode, and set screen time limits.

TikTok announced on a blog post that they are advancing their commitment to building for the safety of their users by introducing Family Pairing, which allows parents and teens to customize their safety settings based on individual needs.

The blog post read, “Many users start their creator journey at 13 and are introduced to a wider array of app options for download, making it a critical time for teens and their families to learn about digital literacy and smart online behavior. In addition to Family Pairing, TikTok already offers a number of resources to support users on this journey, including educational safety videos and parental guides like our Top Ten Tips for Parents. We also encourage parents to talk with their teens about the code of conduct outlined in our Community Guidelines to help them understand what responsible community behavior looks like, how to identify and report content that may be in violation, and what it means to be positive digital community members.”

Family Pairing, which will be rolling out over the coming weeks, will allow a parent to link their TikTok account to their teen’s and set controls including:

  • Screen Time Management: Control how long your teen can spend on TikTok each day. In addition, TikTok has partnered with top creators to make short videos that appear right in the app and encourage users to keep tabs on their screen time. These fun videos use the upbeat tone our users love while offering a suggestion to take a break and do something offline, like read a book.
  • Restricted Mode: Limit the appearance of content that may not be appropriate for all audiences. Even without Family Pairing enabled, parents can help their teen set Screen Time Management and Restricted Mode by visiting the app’s Digital Wellbeing controls at any time.
  • Direct Messages: Restrict who can send messages to the connected account, or turn off direct messaging completely. Only approved followers can message each other, and TikTok don’t allow images or videos to be sent in messages. Starting April 30, TikTok will be taking those protections one step further as relates to younger members of their community, and automatically disabling Direct Messages for registered accounts under the age of 16.

Parents will still have to get their kids to agree to have their accounts linked under the new system. To set it up, parents need to scan a QR code inside the digital well being section of their kid’s account. Kids will be able to disable the feature at any time, though there are some roadblocks: parents will receive a notification, and they’ll have a chance to re-link the account in case it was disconnected by accident.

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