Open up short-form video app TikTok and you’re met with a stream of popular videos, tailored to your own interests. But when your friend launches TikTok on their own phone, they’ll see something different. TikTok calls this main stream of content the “For You” feed because of how it’s personalized to the individual user. But how the recommendation system worked behind the scenes was something of an unknown — until now. Today, the company detailed the factors that contribute to the For You feed, as well as how they’re weighted for each individual user.
Zynn, the Chinese video sharing app that’s a near button-for-button clone of TikTok, has been removed from Apple’s App Store. The app was previously taken down from Google’s Play Store last week after reports of plagiarism on the platform, and had attracted controversy for a reward scheme that paid users to watch videos and sign up friends.
Alana Tsui hadn’t really thought about joining TikTok before the coronavirus pandemic. The artist and influencer already had a healthy following on Instagram. And like many other friends, the 31-year-old had dismissed TikTok as an app for pre-teens.
But the spread of the virus in New York City forced Tsui to wait out the pandemic indoors, and she found herself with a lot of spare time to try something new.
Just in case you were wondering how popular TikTok has actually become, the viral video sharing social app has now been downloaded over 2 billion times. As per Sensor Tower data, TikTok amassed the highest number of downloads in a quarter recorded by any app EVER.