How parents can keep teens’ digital life safe on TikTok with ‘Family Pairing’ feature

November 30, 2020 - 10:59 AM
A TikTok logo is displayed on a smartphone in this illustration taken January 6, 2020. (Reuters/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo)

TikTok this year introduced a new feature on its platform called Family Pairing to help parents support their teenagers in the safe use of the application.

The Chinese video-sharing service’s popularity rose after governments imposed lockdowns across the world this year amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

In the Philippines, this video-sharing platform is still among the most downloaded apps this year. 

Filipinos turned to this platform to cope with the strict observation of home quarantine in the past months.

In line with its popularity among the youth, TikTok launched Family Pairing last April to help keep families safe, informed and entertained in using its services.

READ: TikTok is a unique blend of social media platforms – here’s why kids love it

This month, TikTok introduced additional tools for the expanded version of Family Pairing to their users.

Earlier, the Family Pairing feature only has the controls:

  • Screen Time Management – Sets the amount of time a teenager can spend on TikTok
  • Restricted Mode – Limits the appearance of inappropriate content for a general audience on the teen’s timeline or “For Your Feed.”
  • Direct messages – Restricts the teenager’s messaging options.

“With user safety in mind, we also have many policies and controls on messaging. For example, direct messaging is automatically disabled for those under 16, only approved followers can message each other, and images and videos cannot be sent in messages,” the release read.  

The new tools are:

  • Search – Decide whether your teen can search for content, users, hashtags, or sounds
  • Comments – Decide who can comment on your teen’s videos (everyone, friends, no one)”
  • Discoverability – Decides whether your teen’s account is private (your teen decides who can see their content) or public (anyone can search and view content)
  • Liked Videos – Many people enjoy finding new videos to watch that others they follow have also enjoyed, but this control empowers families to decide whether others can see the list of videos your teen has liked

These tools can be activated even without enabling Family Pairing, TikTok noted. Teenagers can select them individually through the app settings.

“Whatever parents and teens decide is right for them, we hope Family Pairing will encourage families to have broader conversations about digital safety,” the vide-sharing platform said.

For Filipino creators

TikTok Philippines last Thursday conducted a webinar titled “Supporting Youth and Families on TikTok” where content creators discussed how they use the parent control feature for their children.


To new users, there are Filipino TikTok creators who share informative content in various fields of interest such as photography, video editing and gaming.

@daryllanuranlmaooo MY HAIR IS A MESS #filmmaking #filmmakingtips #funfacts #cinematography♬ original sound – Daryll Anuran

@ralpheaustriaVideo making Tutorial 2 #TikTokU #EdukasyongPinoy♬ original sound – Ralphe Austria

@ivseenyouHow to start manual setting on your camera 💪 #fyp #EduTokPh #LearnOnTiktok #Photography #Portraits #digital♬ Work from Home (Is Where the Heart Is) – DJ Joey Santos

There are also educational challenges such as the “Museo de Filipino” challenge where various users depict themselves as personas of different notable Filipinos through an edited version of a track by IV of Spades called “Bata, Dahan-Dahan.”

“There’s so much more that can be learned from TikTok creators, when you want to improve your skills at mobile photography and filmmaking. Join the community on the app to start learning from other creators,” the platform said.