TikTok changes For You algorithm

Posted 21.12.21

TikTok announced in a blog post last week, Dec 16th, that it is making changes to its much-loved but controversial For You algorithm. The true make-up of the algorithm is unknown but for many users, the ability of the For You page to take you down a rabbit hole, and somehow seemingly predict what highly niche videos you like to watch can be highly addictive. With this, comes certain risks, especially for young people consuming large volumes of sometimes dangerous or troubling content. 

In their official blog post, TikTok said it aimed to restrict users from “too much content from a certain topic” adding that the aim of the change was to “protect against viewing too much of a content category that may be fine as a single video but problematic if viewed in clusters.” This is obviously a positive step and taking action, especially in the run-up to the festive break when young users will have time off and undoubtedly turn to social platforms to fill the void of social interaction.

Calls for tighter controls on the type of content being posted are still being heard and this is something TikTok and other social platforms just haven’t done enough to curb. But it seems in this instance at least TikTok is taking a more lateral view on the media consumption of its young user base and looking to curb the adverse effects of content including dieting, sadness, and even content around or discussing breakups.  

For many, TikTok is now a first-screen experience, meaning users aren’t watching TV or doing other things whilst they are on the platform (unlike other social networks) and so it’s clear the company is trying to limit how much of a particular type of content people might watch are aiming to grapple with the power of attention they have obtained.

Tom Jarvis – CEO & Founder 

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