TikTok is introducing two new tools as part of its mission to prioritise users’ digital well-being.
The features will help people manage the time they spend on the video-sharing platform and encourage regular screen-time breaks.
The average daily time spent on the internet in the UAE is seven hours and 24 minutes per person, according to Global Media Insight.
In a bid to curb screen use, TikTok is creating a dashboard that will give its community data about how much time they’re spending on the platform, with daily summaries, including the number of times they opened the app and a breakdown of daytime and night-time usage.
Users will also be able to opt for weekly notifications, so they can review their dashboard and monitor their own stats. These prompts will remind users to take a break after a certain amount of uninterrupted screen time.
The platform also plans to introduce weekly digital well-being prompts for younger users aged between 13 and 17. When this demographic spends more than 100 minutes on the app in a day, they will get a reminder to use the screen time limit tool, when they next open TikTok.
As part of its focus on well-being, TikTok will also publish a new guide, titled How can I reflect on my digital well-being with my family and friends?, which will be viewable in the app’s Safety Centre.
“It's essential that TikTok provides tools to control our time on the platform, this will increase the productivity time for the user and improve their physical and mental health,” said Dr Hamed Alneyadi, director executive government relations of IAT/Actvet and member of TikTok's Mena Safety Advisory Council. “By providing options for parents to manage and control screen time for their children on TikTok, it helps to promote healthy use and proactively assists the user to maintain a healthy lifestyle.”
“It’s already widely known what the negative mental and physical effects are of screen-time-overuse,” said family therapist Lamar Kanafani, in a statement distributed by TikTok. “So, in my eyes, the first step to helping your kids find the right balance is to get yourselves better disciplined with screen time as well, model it, and put in the initial and ongoing effort to engage physically with your kids. The quality of your relationship with them is key.”
The new features will be launched in the coming weeks, although no specific date has been given. Users can find them under Privacy and Settings, in the Digital well-being section of the app.