TikTok has announced a set of features to help users struggling with mental health issues and thoughts of suicide.
Guides on wellbeing and support for people struggling with eating disorders are among the features.
There is also a search intervention feature that directs users to help resources when they search for terms like “suicide.”
The move comes as rival platform Instagram is under renewed scrutiny for its impact on user well-being.
In the announcement TikTok said: “We care deeply about our community, and we always look for new ways in which we can nurture their well-being.
“That’s why we’re taking additional steps to make it easier for people to find resources when they need them on TikTok.”
The new resources, which will be available globally in the coming months, include an expanded guide on eating disorders and a feature that will direct users to local support, such as a Crisis Text Line, if they search for terms like suicide.
TikTok, like its rival social media platforms, has come under fire for the impact it can have on its users’ mental health, particularly teenagers.
A report by the Education Policy Institute and The Prince’s Trust earlier this year found that teenagers’ mental health was being damaged by heavy social media use.
According to the study, it was linked to negative wellbeing and self-esteem regardless of a young person’s mental state, with more girls experiencing feelings of depression and hopelessness.
TikTok’s announcement came as The Wall Street Journal reported that Instagram has repeatedly discovered that its platform can be harmful to the mental health of its adolescent users in certain situations.
According to the report, the company has been researching the app’s impact on the mental health of its younger users for at least two years. According to the paper, research has repeatedly shown that it is harmful to a large proportion of users, particularly teenage girls.
In a lengthy statement, Instagram acknowledged the existence of research reported by the Wall Street Journal but said the story “focuses on a limited set of findings and casts them in a negative light”.
The social media company also stated that the research “demonstrates our commitment to understanding complex and difficult issues that young people may face, and informs all of the work we do to help those experiencing these issues.”