TikTok Adds More Parental Controls to Family Pairing Feature

Parents can decide whether teens can search, who can comment on their videos

Parents can choose whether other users on TikTok can see the list of videos their teens have liked MStudioImages/iStock

TikTok added more parental controls to the Family Pairing feature it introduced in April.

  • Parents can now decide whether their teens are allowed to search for content, hashtags, sounds or users.
  • They can also determine who can comment on videos posted by their teens: everyone, friends or no one.
  • Parents can choose whether they want their teens’ accounts to be private, meaning that teens decide who can see their content, or public, where anyone can search and view content.
  • And parents can choose whether other users on TikTok can see the list of videos their teens have liked.

These new controls join capabilities parents have had since Family Pairing debuted in April:

  • Parents can determine how much time their teens can spend on the app each day.
  • Restricted mode limits the appearance of content that may not be appropriate for the age groups that teens are in.
  • Direct messages can be turned off altogether, or parents can restrict who can send message to their teens’ accounts. DMs are automatically disabled for users under 16.

TikTok global minor safety policy lead Tracy Elizabeth and head of child safety public policy for Europe Alexandra Evans said in a blog post, “Parenting a teen’s digital life can be daunting, and we often hear that parents and other caregivers feel as though they’re playing catch up when it comes to the latest technology and applications their teens use. That’s why we regularly speak to parents and teens and work with family and youth experts to develop meaningful ways for parents to support their teens on TikTok. Our aim is to strike a balance between safety and autonomy for teenagers as we work to create a safe and supportive place for self-expression.”

They added, “Every family is different. Some may choose to use Family Pairing only when their teen starts on TikTok; others may choose to stay connected to their teen’s account for longer; and even without Family Pairing enabled, teens can always take advantage of these tools by selecting them individually through their app settings. Whatever parents and teens decide is right for them, we hope Family Pairing will encourage families to have broader conversations about digital safety.”

david.cohen@adweek.com David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.