TikTok is announcing a big change in the way it handles live-streaming: starting November 23rd, all users will be required to be 18 years old or older in order to host a stream. The current age limit is 16. In addition, TikTok will soon roll out the ability to host streams that are restricted to adults, allowing things like risqué comedy routines or life experiences to not be shared with children.
It’s part of a broader effort from TikTok to make the platform safer. “To protect our users and creators and support their well-being, we constantly work to evolve the safeguards we put in place,” the company said in a press release. “We want our community to make the most of the opportunities LIVE can bring without compromising on safety. We believe these industry-leading updates can further protect the younger members of our community as they start and build their online presence.”
While restricting livestream hosts to 18+ is a generally good move to keep younger users safe, not serving specific streams to younger crowds with adult-only streams seems even more effective. The For You tab in TikTok is certainly full of… stuff, and anything the platform does to restrict adult content is a step in the right direction.
In addition, TikTok says it’ll start prompting creators to begin filtering keywords that appear in comments they regularly flag on their livestreams. “To do this, the tool looks at the content a creator most commonly removes from their LIVE, spotting similar words in these comments and then suggesting the host may want to add these words to their filter list,” TikTok described. “When we tested this feature, we found that it nearly doubled those using keyword filtering when looking at the most popular LIVE creators.”
Some things won’t be changing, like limiting direct messages to those 16 years old or older. The “virtual gifts” tipping system available to livestream hosts will also remain exclusive to adults, as will every other form of monetization.
To make the platform more fun to livestream on, TikTok is adding Multi-Guest which will let you invite up to five extra people to join you on a single stream. You can opt for a grid or panel layout for each stream. While you’re live, TikTok will also let you access a variety of settings flipping your camera, adding effects and stickers, filtering comments, or assigning moderators to the chat.
All of these changes and new features will start rolling out over the coming weeks to all users of the platform.