Teens on TikTok could have their screen time restricted by their parents

TikTok will be launching new safety features allowing parents to control and restrict the content their children see on the platform.

The family safety mode enables parents to limit the amount of screen time on the app, who can directly message the account, and restrict certain types of content appearing on their child's feed.

The booming video-sharing social media app said this can be done by linking a parent's account to their child's.

The announcement comes as the debate around the abuse of the internet and social media use on people, particularly younger users, continues.

TikTok, which is based on users sharing short videos, has become one of the most downloaded apps with a reported 1.5 billion users.

According to analytics site Sensor Tower, it was downloaded 738 million times during 2019 and has become increasingly popular among young people.

Last week, the Government published its first proposals around the regulation of internet firms, building on its online harms White Paper published last year.

That proposes forcing social media companies to abide by a duty of care to users, with large fines among the potential punishments.

The social media platform's head of trust and safety in Europe, Cormac Keenan said the app had worked with some of the platform's most popular figures to introduce the prompts.

He said they would "remind our community to be aware of the time they spend on TikTok and to encourage them to consider taking some time out".

TikTok was one of the most downloaded apps of 2019. Credit: ITV News

Writing in a blog post announcing the new safety features, Mr Keenan said: "When people use TikTok, we know they expect an experience that is fun, authentic, and safe.

"As part of our ongoing commitment to providing users with features and resources to have the best experience on TikTok, we are announcing family safety mode, a new feature to help parents and guardians keep their teens safe on TikTok.

"We will keep introducing ways to keep our community safe so they can stay focused on what matters to them - creating, sharing, and enjoying the creativity of TikTok's community."