It’s all #ForYou.
Picture this: you’re an avid TikTok user and you’re browsing your #ForYou page. Every video seems to be curated perfectly to the things you love. It’s almost eerie how well-tailored it is. It truly is for you.
TikTok seems to know everything about their users, from their likes and dislikes to the content that they’ll most likely find interesting—all gleaned without the users’ search input. That’s TikTok’s algorithm at work, a data-driven process so thorough its users have likened it to mind-reading.
The concept itself isn’t new. Data mining is a common and well-seasoned practice amongst social networks and search engines, but it often flies under the general public’s radar. The Internet was famously shook in 2019 when it was revealed that smart home assistants like Amazon Alexa listen in on conversations to hone their bot-driven responses, and similar cases suggest that smartphone microphones are up to a comparable practice.
TikTok takes it to a new level—and they aren’t shy about it. Their data collection policy is readily available and frequently updated, and all users tacitly agree to their personal data analysis in the Terms of Service agreements. And you don’t have to guess about what they’re analyzing either; TikTok lets users download their entire browsing and search history so you can see exactly where the base-level analysis begins.
But TikTok’s suggestions on users’ #ForYou pages seem to toe the line of learned behaviors and delve straight into our most privately guarded thoughts. It’s curated to a level of detail that we’ve only imagined in futuristic movies – that even if you don’t know what you want, TikTok just might.
The result? An expertly-curated social media experience.
How it works
For those of you who just have a surface-level knowledge of TikTok (no shame), here’s how it works: all new users start on a page chock-full of the day’s most popular videos. You start to scroll, and the algorithm starts to learn. Once your broader interests are determined, you start your journey down the content rabbit hole.
Officially, all the algorithm needs to figure you out is how you tangibly respond to videos: shares, follows, likes, and your search history. Hashtags are a strong way to organize the content and influence the algorithm, but ultimately their role in gauging what to show you is not as heavily valued as other factors. There’s also disruptive content—or, content that you’re not necessarily looking for but might interest you—that slides into your feed to help expand your interests and give the algorithm more insight into what you enjoy.
What’s it really looking for? The intangible ways you interact with a piece of content, specifically what you’re watching and how long you’re watching it. The algorithm pays close attention to the length of time you spend watching something, and if you go back and rewatch it. Even hesitations are taken into account. Those incremental analyses drill down to the nanosecond, and the granularity is what ultimately affects your algorithm’s recommendations.
Power to the creators
Unsurprisingly, if the algorithm is doing its job, you’re spending hours sifting through content and being thoroughly entertained. It raises the probability that users will be exposed to not just content that they’re interested in, but even a few singular creators that they resonate with.
That’s why quality, curated creator content is so vital. The algorithm’s nature means that content visibility is going to be granted to creators who are most in tune with what their audience enjoys. Creators who are masters of their target audience get the best visibility and interaction, and if you’re a brand looking to partner with creators for branded content? That’s a dream come true.
Marketers already know that partnering with influencers is a huge opportunity to drive sales, increase brand awareness, and encourage a heightened level of engagement with their brand. So, for the best brand representation, partnering with an influencer that best matches your brand’s goals and aesthetic is more important than ever. It can be challenging to harness influencer power in an organized, seamless way, so that’s where third-party platforms like Mavrck come in: to help brands to find creators that will best support their business goals.
- TikTok’s algorithm learns your behaviors by analyzing the content you consume.
- It then uses those learned behaviors to recommend content to its users that they have a high chance of enjoying.
- Creators who make compelling, interesting content that appeal to their followers’ interests have a connection that may respond well to brand collaborations.
- Mavrck can help marketers connect with creators whose brand collaborations can result in lucrative responses from their audience.
- For a demo of the Mavrck platform or to discuss your influencer marketing needs, please request a demo here.