TikTok is updating its livestream system to limit kids from going live and to allow streamers to only reach adults, The Verge reported. According to The Verge, TikTok currently has allowed those 16 and older to stream live. The company is changing that to 18 and older.
TikTok posted news titled: “Enhancing the LIVE community experience with new features, updates, and policies” (On October 17). It includes the following:
The foundation of TikTok is built on community trust and safety. To protect our users and creators and support their well-being, we constantly work to evolve the safeguards we put in place. Today, we’re making additional changes and improvements to help our community have the best experience possible when they use LIVE.
Currently, people must be 16 or over to host a LIVE. From November 23, the minimum age will increase from 16 to 18. As we consider the breadth of our global audience, we already take a graduated approach to the features that our community can access based on their age; younger teens need to be 16 or older to access Direct Messaging and 18 or older to send virtual gifts or access monetization features.
This news might be disappointing to TikTok users who are not yet 18-years-old. They will, eventually, gain access to the LIVE feature when they get older. Waiting two years (or more) for access might seem like a very long time, though.
There is another change TikTok is making that could perhaps have influenced why they are limiting LIVE to those who are 18 or older. From TikTok’s news:
In addition, in the coming weeks, we plan to introduce a new way for creators to choose if they’d prefer to only reach an adult audience in their LIVE. For instance, perhaps a comedy routine is better suited for people over age 18. Or, a host may plan to talk about a difficult live experience and they would feel more comfortable knowing the conversation is limited to adults. We want our community to make the most of the opportunities LIVE can bring without compromising safety. We believe these industry-leading updates can further protect the younger members of our community as they start and build their online presence.
To be clear, it does not sound as though TikTok is expecting people to turn their LIVE into something like OnlyFans. I suspect some people might attempt to do that, though. As such, it makes a lot of sense for TikTok to prevent people under the age of 18 from accessing LIVE, while also giving the adults on TikTok a way to weed out those who are underage from watching their LIVE.