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Photo Illustration: Mateusz Slodkowski/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images.

TikTok is offering new ways for parents to control how their teenagers use the popular video-sharing app, according a blog post Thursday.

Why it matters: TikTok is surging in popularity among teens, but with that boost comes additional scrutiny about child safety and privacy measures.

Details: Starting April 30, TikTok will disable direct messages for users under 16. In the coming weeks, the company is also rolling out a new "Family Pairing" tool that will allow parents to link their accounts to their teens' accounts to control:

  • How long their children can spend on TikTok each day.
  • What content their children can see, with the ability to restrict videos that may not be appropriate for younger users.
  • Who can send messages to the account (parents will also be able to fully disable all direct messages for minor children 16 or older).

Under TikTok’s existing terms of service, users must be at least 13 to use the standard version of the app. (TikTok offers a restricted mode for kids 12 and under).

What they're saying: "We believe these options promote a safer and more trustworthy experience for our users of all ages, but our progress in this area is also never finished," TikTok's Jeff Collins, senior director of trust and safety, wrote in the post.

  • The move earned praise from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which has called on tech companies to do more to protect children online.
  • "We're grateful to TikTok for their leadership in prioritizing safety and education because we believe those efforts are a critical step in helping families safely navigate the online world." NCMEC president John Clark said in a statement.

Go deeper: More younger members of Generation Z use TikTok than Facebook

Editor’s note: This story has been corrected to note that while TikTok's terms of service do bar children under 13 from using the full app, it does offer them a limited "Younger Users" mode.

Go deeper

1 hour ago - World

Israeli intel agencies believe Vienna talks will lead to U.S. return to Iran nuclear deal

Photo: DEBBIE HILL/AFP via Getty Images

Israeli military intelligence and senior officials in the Mossad briefed a meeting of the nation's security cabinet that talks in Vienna between Iran and other world powers will lead to the U.S. returning to the 2015 nuclear deal, two officials who attended the meeting told me.

Why it matters: The Israeli government is very concerned about a U.S. return to the nuclear deal and is trying to convince the Biden administration not to take the pressure off the Iranian regime.

Latino community of 13-year-old killed by police in Chicago reels after shooting

A small memorial of flowers and candles to Adam Toledo in Chicago. Photo: Kamil Krzaczynski/Getty Images

Residents of Little Village, a well-known and predominantly Latino neighborhood in Chicago, are grieving the death of Adam Toledo, a 13-year-old Mexican American boy from the neighborhood who was shot and killed by a police officer on March 29, NBC News reports.

Why it matters: Adam Toledo's killing shines a spotlight on police shootings of Latinos, who are killed by law enforcement at the second-highest rate after Black Americans, according to data from the Washington Post.

Super typhoon Surigae explodes to Cat. 5 intensity

Super Typhoon Surigae seen on satellite imagery Saturday morning east of the Philippines. (CIRA/RAMMB)

Super Typhoon Surigae surged in intensity from a Category 1 storm on Friday to a beastly Category 5 monster on Saturday, with maximum sustained winds estimated at 190 mph with higher gusts.

Why it matters: This storm — known as Typhoon Bising in the Philippines — is just the latest of many tropical cyclones to undergo a process known as rapid intensification, a feat that studies show is becoming more common due to climate change. It weakened slightly, to the equivalent of a strong Category 4 storm, on Sunday.