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TikTok Introduces New Feature That Explains Why Users Are Being Served Certain Videos

There’s nothing more annoying than being recommended videos on a social media app that you’ve got zero interest in.

This might be one of the major reasons why TikTok is going the extra mile to give users a peek at why certain content is coming their way more than others. And we don’t think anything could be better than that.


The app’s users will be provided an explanation related to why the For You pages are being shown in the first place. As mentioned in a recent blog post, the firm claims it would be releasing a new offering for videos soon that breaks down why certain content is being shown.

This feature is called ‘Why this Video’ and it can be accessed through the likes of a share panel where you simply click on the icon of a question mark. Moreover, TikTok says the recommendations are based on the content of a certain kind and to gain access to it, simply press ‘Why This Video’ so you can further go on to click the icon of a question mark.

TikTok says that it never recommends content unless or until it gets the right signals from its algorithm through data collected from users. But the exact manner that it does this has been undercover for so long. Just last year, a high-profile investigation arose that detailed how the app’s algorithm works and how long some users linger on to a video even if there are zero interactions.

More explanations in this video included a video that was trending in a certain region. This video went on to originate from content that was recommended or perhaps a recommendation that was linked to what a user liked, watched, or even shared, and searched for. This offering would be rolled out to users in the next few weeks.

In case you didn’t know, TikTok’s very personal feed is designed in a manner that keeps users returning for more thrilling content because there is so much up for grabs. But at the same time, it’s been the topic of much discussion and criticism as many feel this exposes them to content that’s harmful, especially younger audiences.

As mentioned in one report by the Wall Street Journal in the past year, it detailed how so many young females were forced to look at fitness videos, dieting tips, and weight loss hack on a usual basis. They were served such content continuously and the WSJ report raised awareness of how harmful this turned out to be. And right before the news went public, the app started to diversify the feature for recommendations to get rid of repetitive content.

With time, TikTok has managed to diversify ways by which feeds can be better fine-tuned to meet their preferences. For instance, if you don’t want to see something, then you can tell TikTok and it won’t show you again. And then in July, we saw TikTok put forward another feature that allows users to filter certain content through keywords or simply by using hashtags. They can similarly dislike videos by pressing for a long time across a post and then pressing on ‘not interested’.

TikTok’s algorithm is undoubtedly its secret sauce as it makes users entertained, intrigued, and keeps on coming back for more. It wouldn’t be wrong to mention that it’s a little creepy at first when you see how relevant the content is to your thinking but that’s the power of AI-powered technology that allows you to see this.

Don’t expect this new feature to mention to you that you’re getting a recommendation because you viewed this content 100 times. There can’t be this much accuracy but the whole idea is to give some more in-depth understanding of why a user’s For You page appears in the manner it does.

Read next: Find out what the real experts think about mental health content posted on TikTok

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