TikTok has announced that in the coming weeks accounts belonging to minors will automatically be capped at 60 minutes of screen time per day. Once the limit is reached, users will have to enter a passcode to get more scrolling time. It will also encourage those who opt out of the limit to set their own daily limit. 
"Research also shows that being more aware of how we spend our time can help us be more intentional about the decisions we make," wrote Cormac Keenan, head of trust and safety at TikTok, in a blog post. "So we're also prompting teens to set a daily screen time limit if they opt out of the 60-minute default and spend more than 100 minutes on TikTok in a day."
The new feature comes as TikTok, owned by Chinese tech giant ByteDance, faces criticism for its privacy and data collection policies as well as its relationship to the ruling party. The federal government and several U.S. states have banned the use of the app on their networks. 
The wildly popular app has also generated concerns about excessive screen time. The company said the 60-minute limit is based on the latest research into healthy digital habits. 
"While there's no collectively-endorsed position on the 'right' amount of screen time or even the impact of screen time more broadly, we consulted the current academic research and experts from the Digital Wellness Lab at Boston Children's Hospital in choosing this limit," Keenan wrote.
TikTok is also expanding its "Family Pairing" feature to allow parents to link to their child's accounts and set content and privacy settings, including setting filters for certain words or hashtags. They can also customize screen time limits to certain days and hours and view a "dashboard" with information about their child's activity on the app. 
"Family Pairing is an opportunity for parents and teens to collaborate on developing healthy online habits," said Larry Magid, CEO of ConnectSafely, a nonprofit focused on educating users about safety and privacy issues on the internet. "It's not parental control, it's parental involvement and an opportunity for parents and teens to learn from each other." 
The announcement comes just ahead of the National Day of Unplugging on March 3. The day, promoted by the Unplugged Collaborative, encourages parents and children to enjoy a 24-hour period of being disconnected from their devices. Check out the Cheddar News' feature above for some screen-free toy recommendations.