TikTok algorithm explained

So here’s how the TikTok algorithm actually works according to this leaked TikTok document

This is the most I’ve learnt since my time before university

The TikTok algorithm is a bit of a mystery to all of us because it has never been fully explained. But somehow the creators of the app get it right every time because we always come back for more jokes content. Have you ever thought about why TikTok is so addictive or why we find ourselves on certain algorithms? Well you’re about to have all your answers because a top secret document called TikTok Algo 101 was leaked to The New York Times and it has all the information you’d possibly want to know.

Inside the doc is apparently a simple explanation of TikTok’s algorithm formula. It reportedly breaks down the process into a combination of likes, comments and how much time we spend on videos. It also includes stuff like how TikTok keeps us on the app for so long at one time as well as the problematic side of TikTok if it’s not properly moderated. So here is the TikTok algorithm explained:

Here’s how your likes and comments feed into the algorithm

So to put it simply, a screenshot The Times saw implied that a team of TikTok content moderators watch the videos you send to your mates or upload privately, which gives them a deeper level of how to personalise your For You Page. According to The Times, the videos you like, comment on and watch over and over again all help to turn your For You Page into an individual experience.

No one knows you better than TikTok because it can figure out your taste so easily and quickly. Your likes, shares and comments are used to measure your engagement. If you immediately scroll past a video, click away, pause or rewatch, the algorithm picks up on what you’re reacting to. The app is designed to show you exactly what you like and TikTok’s goal is to keep you on the app for ages.

The doc explained the TikTok algorithm focuses on creators too

According to a flow chart on the TikTok Algo 101 document obtained by The New York Times, the higher the quality of video, the more likely people are to see it. A common belief is that when creators make money from TikTok, they get shadow banned meaning their videos get blocked from going onto For You Pages but according to the document, that’s not true.

Reportedly, TikTok’s “ultimate goal”, though, is to add daily active users. The New York Times says the app wants to keep you on there for as long as possible.

TikTok engineers know people get bored easy so show us different stuff

Right so this actually makes loads of sense because it’s obvious that when we see similar content over and over again then we’re likely to click off the app. But most of the time TikTok shows us a big variety so it makes us stay on the app for longer. So whilst the algorithm shows a variety of videos every day, we also see content by the same creator however there’s a limit on how many videos we see a day with the same tag.

The moderators reportedly have access to videos we send to mates

According to the article written by The New York Times,  the moderators at TikTok are humans and not bots. And they have access to all publicly posted videos and the ones sent to mates or uploaded onto TikTok and not shared.

It’s truly wild how one app can know you better than anyone else.

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Disclaimer: TikTok has not confirmed the way the algorithm works. This information is all form the leaked document obtained by The New York Times.