TikTok adds ‘Family Pairing’, to disable Direct Messaging for those under 16

By: Tech Desk | New Delhi |

Published: April 16, 2020 5:50:23 pm

TikTok adds ‘Family Pairing’ , to disable Direct Messaging for those under 16 (Image: Bloomberg)

TikTok is adding some new features focused on safety, especially for its young audience. The first is calling Family Pairing, which will let a parent link their TikTok account to their teen’s account. Further the company plans to disable direct messaging for anyone under 16 on the platform.

With the Family Pairing feature, a parent will be able to link their TikTok account to their teen’s account and add controls for features like Direct Message, Screen Time Management, and Restricted Mode.

The company will also disable Direct Messaging for all users under the age of 16 from April 30. TikTok says this is being done to keep user safety in mind and to protect its younger user base. Currently TikTok has some policies and controls in place for messaging. For example, only approved followers can message each other, and it does not allow images or videos to be sent in messages. But from April 30, it will get stricter with this feature by completely disabling it for teens.

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TikTok has seen exponential growth in the past two years, doing Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp when it comes to acquiring new users. In crucial markets like India, US and Brazil, TikTok has seen its popularity soar.

A report from SensorTower, said TikTok was one of the highest downloaded apps on the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store for the month of February 2020 with the Chinese app outperforming WhatsApp and Facebook.

TikTok was the most download app in Februray, beats WhatsApp and Facebook

In India, TikTok saw 46.6 million installs, while Brazil and US had 9.7 million and 6.4 million downloads respectively.  Since its launch, TikTok has seen an accumulate a total of 1.9 billion installs on the Play Store and the App Store combined. The app has more than 200 million users in India alone.

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