A range of new TikTok teen protections are designed to make the app safer to use, and less likely to eat into sleep time…

CNET reports on a range of new privacy-focused features.

TikTok said users who are 16 or 17 years old will have their direct messages set to “No one” by default when they first join TikTok. Currently, TikTok’s direct messagingsettings are set to “Friends” by default, meaning that users can receive messages from followers they follow back […] TikTok already disables messaging for users under 16 years old […]

TikTok is also introducing new pop-ups meant to make teenagers more aware of the app’s privacy settings. When teens under 16 are about to publish their first video, they’ll also see a pop-up that asks who they want to let watch the video.

Teens 16 to 17 will also see a pop-up if they turn on video downloads. The prompt will tell the users that enabling this option means other people will be able to download their videos and share them on other platforms. Video downloads are disabled for account holders under 16.

The company is also introducing a notifications curfew.

Users between the ages of 13 to 15 won’t receive push notifications after 9pm. Teens who are 16 or 17 will have push notifications disabled at 10 p.m. […]

“Our priority is to ensure teens on TikTok have a safe and age-appropriate experience as they create and share on our platform,” said TikTok’s global minor-safety policy lead, Tracy Elizabeth.

The company previously made young teenager accounts private by default, as well as blocking public comments on their posts. Additionally, videos created by young teens can no longer be downloaded.

However, the company has repeatedly been accused of illegally collecting data from kids.

During the pandemic, TikTok became the world’s most popular social app, overtaking Facebook.

Photo: Laura Chouette/Unsplash

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Ben Lovejoy

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