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How the “For You” page algorithm works on TikTok

The “For you” tab is where the recommendation algorithm is, which is primarily responsible for TikTok’s success, so it’s important to know how it works

OR Tick ​​tock has become famous all over the world thanks to the working of the algorithm of the “For You” page. This technology is able to provide short videos to the user based on tastes and consumption habits.

Additionally, the “For You” feed is a key part of content discovery, as you can find unknown or up-and-coming creators. This stream of videos tends to feed into an endless viewing mechanism, as there is always some argument relating to the already watched videos.

It’s important to note that each individual’s feed is always unique and personalized, even if people see the same featured videos from time to time. Do you have an idea of ​​how the “For you” page works? This article will explain how the card works and its importance for TikTok.


For you: TikTok recommendation algorithm

The “For You” page is powered by an advanced recommendation system, which detects your tastes based on your interaction with the content. If you are a follower of canaltech on TikTok or watch a lot of tech videos, your listing is likely to feature content about innovation, mobile phones, gadgets, and apps.

When someone watches a video to the end, it sends a message to TikTok’s algorithm with the following message: “I liked it, send more”. This is the main metric of the service, but it’s not the only one. Check the factors that influence the “For you” page:

  1. Watch a video up to the end and/or repeat it several times;
  2. Search for a topic in the search tool;
  3. Follow an account;
  4. Like or comment on a video;
  5. Share or send the content to someone else;
  6. Scrolling takes more than three seconds.

These are the main modes of interaction, but they are not the only ones either. Like any social network, TikTok has indicators to define whether you really liked something or if you are just trying to manipulate the algorithm.

Factors affecting the algorithm

In addition to the general actions listed above, the tool also identifies other equally important, albeit minor issues on a relevance criterion. If you follow a hashtag, you may get more content using that hashtag, even if the video is on a completely random topic.

This goes for both music and subtitled content: while people tend to like one-word subtitles as a gimmick, other videos on does must arise. This factor explains the flood of videos using music that are in vogue at the moment: if you listen to a song a lot, you tend to get all kinds of content using it, including those that are not your preference.

On the page

There is also an impact of device and account settings on the algorithm. Those in Brazil tend to get more content from local creators. However, if the person engages well with English content, even with the Portuguese preference turned on, they will eventually be able to view foreign content as well.

It is important to underline that everything mentioned composes a sort of ranking of scores for each user. This sum is done in milliseconds for each video and drives TikTok’s algorithm to know when to show a video on the “For You” page.

How to manage “For you”?

An average user is able to target the content TikTok displays in their custom feed while avoiding certain content. To do this, you must:

  1. Instantly skip an unwanted video as soon as it appears on the screen;
  2. Do not like, comment or share the content;
  3. Pressing the “I don’t care” option — tap and hold the screen to view;
  4. Search for topics that interest you and view these videos.

While unwanted videos are not guaranteed to disappear, this strategy usually gives good results in reducing unwanted content. The plans of the social network introduce a button to reset the “For you” page.which would clean up the recommendation algorithm, but this hasn’t been implemented yet.

Recently, TikTok has been accused of having a type of secret button to promote certain types of content in user feeds. In practice, this would mean that the platform is able to determine what each person will view, artificially generating trends and favoring content of interest to the service, such as manipulating public opinion or encouraging debate.

A TikTok spokesperson even confirmed that the company promotes videos to help diversify the content experience. The feature would also be used to showcase celebrities and encourage up-and-coming creators to step up within the community. There is, however, no mention of irregular use of the resource, either for personal use or to help companies or governments.

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Source: Terra

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