TikTok intends to introduce new features to encourage users to take a break from continually browsing short-form videos on the platform, in response to public pressure on tech companies to address excessive social media usage.
TikTok announced in a blog post on Thursday that in the coming weeks, users will be able to establish specific time limits for how much uninterrupted time they wish to spend using the app before receiving a reminder to take a break. TikTok previously allowed users to be warned if they spent longer than 40, 60, 90, or 120 minutes each day on the app.
“These prompts will remind people to take a break after a certain amount of uninterrupted screen time, which they can set as they choose,” Jordan Furlong, a product manager of digital well-being at TikTok, said in the blog post. According to the company, the prompt will read: “Break reminders help you feel more mindful and balanced on TikTok.”
A new screen time dashboard will also provide users with data on how much time they spend on TikTok, including daily summaries, the number of times they launched the app, and a breakdown of daytime and evening usage. Users can choose to receive weekly reminders to evaluate their screen time dashboard.
The business also stated that users between the ages of 13 and 17 will receive “digital well-being prompts” if they use the app for more than 100 minutes in a single day. Furlong noted that the prompts will “remind customers of our screen time limit feature the next time they access the programme.”
It’s unknown how TikTok arrived at the 100-minute threshold for teen screen time intervention. TikTok did not reply quickly to a request for comment.
The revisions come following months of pressure on social media companies to do more to support users’ well-being in the digital era, as politicians and campaigners analyse platforms’ mental health consequences on younger users. Late last year, executives from TikTok, YouTube, and Snap were grilled by Senators about the actions their platforms were doing to protect teens.
Similar efforts have already been introduced by other social networking companies. Instagram’s “Take a Break” feature debuted in December of last year.
(Adapted from CNN.com)