In the west, one key to TikTok’s success has been the sheer rhythm of its feed: watch, swipe, watch, swipe, watch, swipe… and repeat. In China, its sister app Douyin has announced plans to break that rhythm deliberately, to keep on the right side of an increasingly stern-on-digital-bingeing government.
According to the South China Morning Post, Douyin will be inserting five-second ‘pauses’ in its app, having worked with a local band called Phoenix Legend on six videos that suggest users put down their phone, go to bed, or reminds them that they have work tomorrow. The videos cannot be skipped.
The change comes a month after Douyin also introduced limits on how much teenagers can use its app in China: 40 minutes a day if they’re under 14.