TikTok is introducing a new set of changes for teens aged 13-17. These changes will continue rolling out to their community globally over the coming months.
New changes to Direct Messaging privacy settings
TikTok wants to help teens make active decisions about their privacy settings, so when someone aged 16-17 joins TikTok, their Direct Messaging setting will now be set to ‘No One’ by default. To message others, they will need to actively switch to a different sharing option. Existing accounts that have never used DMs before will receive a prompt asking them to review and confirm their privacy settings the next time they use this feature. These updates build on the current messaging protections, such as not allowing images or videos to be sent in messages and disabling messaging for accounts under age 16.
Decide who can watch your videos
The process of making a TikTok is fun and creative – choosing music, picking effects, and getting the transitions right – but it is just as important to choose who that video will be shared with. To help teens understand the sharing options available to them the platform is now adding a pop-up that appears when teens under the age of 16 are ready to publish their first video, asking them to choose who can watch the video. They won’t be able to publish their video until they make a selection.
With each video going forward, creators can decide who can watch before they post. Accounts aged 13-15 are set to private by default, and private accounts can choose to share their content with Followers or Friends, as the ‘Everyone’ setting is turned off. Duet and Stitch are also disabled for accounts under 16.
Choose who can download your public videos
TikTok is also providing additional context to help teens aged 16-17 understand how downloads work, so they can choose the option that’s most comfortable for them. If they opt to turn the feature on, they’ll now receive a pop-up asking them to confirm that choice before others can download their videos. Note that downloads are permanently disabled on content from accounts under the age of 16.
To learn more about the efforts to support youth and families, you can read TikTok’s Guardian’s Guide.