TikTok, the video sharing social networking service owned by ByteDance, is working hard to demonstrate that it’s a transparent company despite various controversies around its ownership and its moderation policies.
It has now added a Transparency Center in Los Angeles, where people can stop by and find out how it action its policies and its limited user data access to mitigate potential misuse. TikTok recently appointed Disney’s former top streaming chief Kevin Mayer as its CEO, adding further separation from its Chinese parent company.
TikTok now has offered to provide another level of transparency to explain how its recommendations algorithm works, and how videos gain traction or don’t, on its platform.
“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.“
The specifications of the recommendation system are outlined here, but the following are the key factors in essence:
User interactions: TikTok factors in the videos you share and/or like, the comments you post, the accounts you follow, and the content you create. For instance, there is a higher chance that you will see content related to a specific hashtag if you post clips with the same tag in your stream.
Video information: This could include details such as captions, specific sounds and songs, and again hashtags.
Device and account settings: Lesser influencing factors include your country settings, your language preferences, and the type of your mobile device.
In other words, the algorithm of TikTok is similar to those in operation on most other social platforms – it factors in the content you engage with and then makes an attempt to show you more of the same.
TikTok said, “A strong indicator of interest, such as whether a user finishes watching a longer video from beginning to end, would receive greater weight than a weak indicator, such as whether the video’s viewer and creator are both in the same country.“
Just as with other platforms, TikTok makes an attempt to match ew users with relevant content, based on interests.
“Your For You feed isn’t only shaped by your engagement through the feed itself. When you decide to follow new accounts, for example, that action will help refine your recommendations too, as will exploring hashtags, sounds, effects, and trending topics on the Discover tab.”
For marketers, it is all about how to maximize your TikTok videos:
- Each video counts independently;
- Having viewers watch your clips to completion may help; and
- Aligning with trending interests will help you connect with more users.