The Chinese version of TikTok, an app called Douyin, is reportedly introducing a “teenage mode” that will limit the amount of time children below the age of 14 are allowed to spend on the video app to 40 minutes a day.
CNN reports that the Chinese TikTok app, Douyin, is introducing a “teenage mode,” that will limit the time that users below the age of 14 can spend on the app to 40 minutes a day. The new rule will apply to all Douyin users under the age of 14 that have registered for the app using their real names, according to a recent statement from ByteDance, the Chinese parent company of TikTok.
Users below the age of 14 will also not be able to access Douyin at all between the ages of 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. ByteDance urged parents to help their children register with real names or manually enable “teenage mode.”
Douyin will also be introducing new content ranging from science experiments to art exhibitions to “inspire” teenagers. Analysts at Citigroup Global markets wrote in a research note its week that limiting the usage of younger Douyin users was a “proactive measure” by ByteDance to get ahead of possible government regulation.
Analysts suggested that the decision could push other internet platforms that have short-form video content to implement similar restrictions. The analysts stated: “Self-assessment and voluntary implementation of minor-protection measures by more platforms could help suggest platforms are being more socially responsible and potentially reassure parents and regulators.”
As of November 2020, Douyin boasted 490 million users, according to the media research firm iiMedia Research. Chinese regulators have been pressuring tech firms to reduce the amount of time minors spend on their service for some time now. In June, China updated its “Minor Protection Law” to require internet service providers to “set up corresponding functions such as time management, content restriction and consumption limits for minors.”
Breitbart News reported in September that according to an analysis by the app monitoring firm App Annie, users in the U.S. and UK are spending more time on the Chinese-owned short-form video app TikTok than on YouTube. App Annie stated that TikTok has “upended the streaming and social landscape” with its short-form video content approach. The app is wildly popular with teenagers in both countries.
YouTube has, however, held onto the top spot for overall time spent on the app based on its massive userbase, but TikTok has surpassed it on average watch time. YouTube boasts an estimated two billion monthly user count, while TikTok’s most recent figures suggest around 700 million active monthly users as of 2020.
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Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address firstname.lastname@example.org