20.06 2020 23:08h

Here's How TikTok's Algorithm Works

As explained by TikTok...
TikTok, Tiktok news
via Unsplash

Despite various controversies around its ownership, its moderation policies, its growth efforts. Despite these concerns, TikTok is working very hard to show that it has nothing to hide, that it's a transparent company, that users can trust. It's added a new Transparency Center in LA, where people can stop by and see how it actions its policies, it's limited user data access in order to mitigate potential misuse, and it recently appointed a US-based CEO, adding further separation from its Chinese parent company.

And this week, TikTok has tried to provide another level of transparency, in explaining exactly how its recommendations algorithm works, and how videos gain traction, or don't, on its platform.

As explained by TikTok:

"When you open TikTok and land in your For You feed, you're presented with a stream of videos curated to your interests, making it easy to find content and creators you love. This feed is powered by a recommendation system that delivers content to each user that is likely to be of interest to that particular user."

TikTok outlines the specifics of that recommendation system here, but in essence, these are the key factors.

The main drivers that define which videos appear in each users' feed are:

User interactions - TikTok factors in the videos you like and/or share, the accounts you follow, the comments you post, and the content you create. So, for example, if you post clips using a certain hashtag, there's a higher chance you'll see content with the same tag in your stream.

Video information - This could include details like captions, specific sounds and songs, and again hashtags.

Device and account settings - Lesser influencing factors are things like your language preference, your country setting and your mobile device type. TikTok says that these factors are considered in order to deliver optimal presentation, but they don't get given the same weight as the previous two.

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