TikTok has released a blog post explaining how recommendations are delivered to the For You feed, which is central to the TikTok experience and where most users spend their time.
Part of the magic of TikTok is that there’s no one For You feed – while different people may come upon some of the same standout videos, each person’s feed is unique and tailored to that specific individual.
The blog post delves into explaining the basis of this, which is a recommendation system. Recommendation systems are designed to help people have a more personalized experience — they suggest content after taking into account user preferences as expressed through interactions with the app, like posting a comment or following an account. On TikTok, the For You feed system recommends content by ranking videos based on a combination of factors – starting from interests you express as a new user and adjusting for things you indicate you’re not interested in, too – to form your personalized feed reflecting preferences unique to each user.
However, by optimizing for personalization and relevance, there is a risk of presenting an increasingly homogenous stream of videos. To keep the For You feed interesting and varied, TikTok’s recommendation system works to intersperse diverse types of content along with those you already know you love.
Ultimately, the For You feed is powered by users’ feedback. The system is designed to continuously improve, correct, and learn from an individual’s engagement with the platform to produce personalized recommendations to inspire creativity and bring joy with every refresh of your For You feed.