TikTok is raising the age requirement for hosting livestreams on its platform and launching adult-only livestreams, the company announced on Monday. Currently, you need to be 16 or older to host a livestream. Starting on November 23, users will have to be 18 years old in order to go live on the platform. TikTok says the change is part of its ongoing work to keep its community safe.
As for the adult-only livestreams, TikTok plans to roll those out in the coming weeks. The official roll out comes as the company began testing the ability to restrict livestreams to viewers who at 18 years old and above in July. It’s important to note that TikTok’s new 18+ restriction setting for livestreams isn’t a way for users to broadcast adult content, as the content is still subject to the app’s policies. Instead, it’s a way for creators to prevent minors from encountering content that’s aimed toward an adult audience or may be uninteresting to them.
“We plan to introduce a new way for creators to choose if they’d prefer to only reach an adult audience in their LIVE,” the company said in a blog post. “For instance, perhaps a comedy routine is better suited for people over age 18. Or, a host may plan to talk about a difficult life experience and they would feel more comfortable knowing the conversation is limited to adults.”
The new setting comes a few months after TikTok said it wanted to start identifying which content is appropriate for younger and older teens versus adults. TikTok has previously said it was developing a system to identify and restrict certain types of content from being accessed by teens and that it would start asking creators to specify when their content is more appropriate for an adult audience.
TikTok had said it wouldn’t go as far as having “displayable” ratings or labels on TikTok videos, which would allow people to see the age-appropriate nature of a given piece of content at a glance. Instead, it said it had planned to rely on categorization on the back end and would lean on having creators tag their own content in some way, hence the new adult-only livestreams.
In addition, TikTok is rolling out an updated version of its keyword filtering tool that will send a reminder to people and suggest new keywords they may want to consider adding to their filter list. Creators can currently already use the app’s keyword filtering tool to limit comments they feel aren’t appropriate, but this update will take this feature a step further.
“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 explained in its blog post. “When we tested this feature, we found that it nearly doubled those using keyword filtering when looking at the most popular LIVE creators.”
TikTok is also rolling out a new feature called “Multi-Guest” that lets hosts go live with up to five other people using a grid or panel layout. The new feature can be used to host how-to videos, respond to questions or just share a moment together. Once the livestream begins, creators can tap the three dots to change a variety of settings, such as flipping the camera, adding effects and stickers, filtering comments and adding moderators.