TikTok introduces the new Family Pairing feature to allow parents to control their children's activity on social. Here's how it works
TikTok was, without a shadow of a doubt, the social (and other) takeover of 2019. In the space of a very few months, the Chinese social platform has seen its number of users grow exponentially. Today, TikTok has more than one billion users (and mere viewers) worldwide, with potential beyond that of any other competing platform.
The peculiarity of TikTok is its audience pool: in the vast majority of cases, those who use the Chinese social platform are teenagers (or slightly older). With all the dangers that this entails: the boys could be victims of cyberbullying or, worse, be lured by pedophiles. In order to protect young people (and, by extension, their families) and allow them to use the channel without risk, TikTok has introduced a new feature that allows parents to control their children's accounts. The feature was developed in agreement with several US organizations, such as the Family Online Safety Institute or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Family Pairing arrives on TikTok: here's what it is
Family Pairing or Family Filter is the feature that will allow parents to have more control over the activity of their minor children who have a TikTok account. In fact, many users start using the app as early as 13 years old, and parents often fail to control their activity, including posted content, comments and private messages.
The new feature thus adds to the resources already available to parents. These are educational videos and guides that shed light on the dangers of the channel and suggest how to care for children immersed in the digital world. This content encourages adults to connect more with their children, especially teenagers, who are not only living at a delicate time in their existence, but are also exposed to a huge amount of online resources that they must learn to use and manage. The educational videos are in fact a cue to talk together about the rules of the community and how to defend themselves from possible dangers, for example they show how to report any abuse. Now with the Family Pairing feature, families will have even more control.
What features are available to those who activate Family Pairing on TikTok
The new features were developed with the help of several family advocacy groups. Simply connect the parent's account to the child's and activate the Family Pairing feature and have the following settings.
It will be possible to control how many hours a teen spends on the social network each day. To encourage users to keep an eye on the time spent, creators will post short videos that will appear between content. They will be cheerful and ironic videos, in accordance with the channel's style, but at the same time they will recommend taking a break offline, perhaps reading a book.
The Family Pairing will filter out content that is not suitable for an audience that is too young, and therefore will only show videos that are deemed truly suitable based on the user's age. Finally, those under the age of 16 will not be able to receive direct messages via their TikTok account. In fact, currently approved followers can chat with each other, but this is often done without the actual control of the family.
The changes will be introduced starting April 30 and are an important step in making the app always safe and affordable for users of all ages.