How TikTok’s Algorithm Figures You Out | WSJ | fascinating Video

Let’s look at Tiktok’s algorithm.

Tik Tok has grown to be one of the largest apps in the world. This video on TikTok’s algorithm is well worth the 13 min to understand more about this app. I think it is worthwhile for both students and parents to watch. Students because this is the world you are in, and parents so we can help our kids navigate these tough conversations on media.

For anyone unfamiliar with the sheer size of Tiktok here are some statistics

  1. Monthly Active Users – TikTok has about 1 billion monthly active users. In November of 2018, TikTok reported that the number was 680 million monthly active users. We estimate that it’s increased to over 1.1 billion as of now (February 2021).
  2. Total App Downloads – The TikTok app has been downloaded over 2.6 billion times worldwide, as reported by Sensor Tower in December, 2020. In January 2021, TikTok had 62 million downloads. In Q1 of 2020, the app had 315 million downloads, which is the best quarter by any app, ever. 500 million of those come from India, 180 million from China, and 130 million from the U.S. In June of 2020 TikTok was downloaded 87 million times worldwide (with 7.5 million of those coming from the U.S.).
  3. The percentage of U.S.-based TikTok users by age: 10-19 – 32.5%, 20-29 – 29.5%, 30-39 – 16.4%, 40-49 – 13.9%, 50+ – 7.1%. This means that the TikTok userbase is aging up
  4. Average Minutes Per User – TikTok users love the app. They spend an average of 52 minutes per day in the platform. A new study has shown younger people ages four to fifteen spend an average of 80 minutes per day on the app.

The statistic above from –

Trigger warning. Some content on mental health, suicide, etc. Nothing graphic but wanted to warn anyone who is struggling in these areas. It is really talking about how TikTok’s algorithm is working in these different genres.

The Wall Street Journal created dozens of automated accounts that watched hundreds of thousands of videos to reveal how the the TikTok algorithm knows you so well A Wall Street Journal investigation found that TikTok only needs one important piece of information to figure out what you want: the amount of time you linger over a piece of content. Every second you hesitate or rewatch, the app is tracking you. Photo illustration: Laura Kammermann/The Wall Street Journal Inside TikTok’s Highly Secretive Algorithm This WSJ video investigation reveals how the video-centric social network is so good at figuring out interests you never expressly tell it.

The algorithm on TokTok can get more more powerful and it can be able to learn your vulnerabilites much faster

The definition of confirmation bias is:

Confirmation bias is the tendency to search for, interpret, favor, and recall information in a way that confirms or supports one’s prior beliefs or values

You can clearly see how what you watch helps give you content that is going to give you confirmation bias on anything you believe.

If you are someone who spends a great deal of time each day on Tiktok I would encourage you to try and watch 5% fewer videos this week than last week. This is an easy, simple way to try and have a better relationship with our technology.

If this video on the TikTok Algorithm is not shown above you can find it by clicking here.

I have a large chapter on media in my book Parenting: Navigating Everything especially looking at how we as parents can help equip our kids in this area of media. Click Here for more information.

tiktok's algorithm

About The Author

Brett Ullman

Brett Ullman travels North America speaking to teens, young adults, leaders, and parents on topics including parenting, mental health, sexuality, pornography, men, dating and media. Brett's seminars engage and challenge attendees to try and connect our ancient faith with our modern culture we live in. Participants are inspired to reflect on what we know, what we believe and how our faith ought to serve as the lens through which we view and engage tough conversations in our society today.

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