The For You feed is a central feature of the TikTok platform. Here, we’ll explore the recommendation system behind the For You feed and share best practices for getting your videos on it.
When you open TikTok, you land in the For You feed. The For You feed is all about you and making your TikTok experience personal. This stream of videos is curated to your specific interests, making it convenient to find videos and creators you love. And the more you use TikTok, the better the For You feed becomes at curating videos that are tailored to your interests.
The For You feed is powered by a recommendation system that delivers suggested videos personalized for each user. These recommendations depend on a number of factors, including:
User interactions, including the videos you like or share, accounts you follow, comments you post, and videos you create.
Video information, such as captions, sounds, and hashtags.
Device and account settings, like your language preference, country setting, and device type.
All these factors are processed by TikTok’s recommendation system and weighted based on their value. For example, if you finish a video, that’s a strong indicator that you’re interested. Videos are then ranked to determine how likely you’ll be interested in each video and delivered to each unique For You feed.
Curating your feed
So how do you curate your For You feed so that you find videos and creators that you love? For starters, new users are invited to select categories of interest, like pets or travel, to help tailor recommendations to their preferences. TikTok then develops an initial feed, and it refines recommendations based on video interactions.
The more you engage with videos on the app, the more personalized your recommendations become. From the moment you start your TikTok journey, your first set of likes, comments, and replays will initiate recommendations as the system begins to learn more about your video tastes.
These recommendations should become increasingly more personalized over time. Following new accounts, exploring hashtags, sounds, effects, and trending topics will all help to refine your feed.
But what if you come across a video that’s not to your liking? Simply long-press on a video, and a “Not Interested” icon will appear that lets you indicate that the video isn’t suited to your taste or interests. You also have the ability to hide videos from a given creator or made with a certain sound.
TikTok helps your feed stay interesting by also making sure it’s varied. This happens because TikTok’s recommendation system drops in diverse types of videos along with those you already know you love. That way you can enjoy your favorite videos and explore new topics.
Recommending content For You
The engaging, authentic content you create on TikTok has the potential to reach and entertain audiences far and wide. Each video is your chance to tell a story, express your creativity, and connect with others who share your interests. And the For You feed is designed to help people discover and enjoy original, entertaining, and personalized content.
There are many ways to discover and watch content on TikTok, including by following accounts, searching, viewing a livestream, or visiting a creator’s profile. While the ability to discover new ideas, creators, and interests is part of what makes our platform unique, content in someone’s For You feed may come from a creator they haven’t chosen to follow or relate to an interest they haven’t previously engaged with. That’s why when we come across content that may not be appropriate for a general audience, we do our best to remove it from our recommendation system.
To bring more transparency to the types of content our systems try not to recommend, below we’re outlining categories of content that may be allowed on our platform, but may not be eligible for recommendation into For You feeds. As video performance may vary depending on a variety of factors, including user interactions and video information, note that content with less engagement doesn’t necessarily mean a video was ineligible.
1. TikTok is a platform for teens to grandparents and everyone in between. To help maintain a comfortable and age-appropriate experience, content that is overtly sexually suggestive may not be eligible for recommendation. For example, content that depicts implied nudity, is blatantly erotic or sensual (like thirst traps or strip teases), or sexualizes body parts, would likely not be recommended into For You feeds. (Remember that we remove content that contains adult nudity or sexual activity.)
2. People put their hearts into bringing original, authentic, and entertaining content to the TikTok community. Content that is unoriginal, spammy, static (non-video), clickbait, or not formatted for TikTok undermines the expectations of our community and the integrity of our platform and may not be recommended. This includes content imported from other platforms with a visible watermark, reuploaded TikTok content where attribution to the original creator is unclear, or misleading or unsubstantiated content. Videos less than 5 seconds long, older than 90 days, or that have had audio muted may also not be recommended. (We remove disinformation, digital forgeries, harmful medical misinformation, and content that deceives people about civic processes. We also remove accounts or content that infringe upon someone else’s intellectual property rights.)
3. Our community celebrates creativity and realness, but shock value isn’t everyone’s preference. Because people may not have opted-in to see such content in their For You feeds, we try not to recommend scary effects or content that realistically replicates gory wounds. Recordings of graphic content, such as a medical procedure, or violence contained within documentary or scientific footage, may also be ineligible for recommendation. To protect against unexpectedly viewing graphic, violent, or potentially distressing content, screens may also be added over videos to let people opt in or out of viewing content. (We may remove content depicting bodily harm or gratuitous graphic, violent, and gore content.)
4. TikTok is deeply committed to protecting the safety and well-being of minors on our platform. Content showing the use of tobacco products by adults or mentioning controlled substances is not eligible for recommendation. In addition, content created by accounts under age 16 is not eligible for recommendation or search results. (We remove content of minors consuming tobacco, alcohol, or controlled substances, along with content promoting the sale or trade of drugs, alcohol, or tobacco products, including vaping products.)
5. TikTok prioritizes the well-being of our community members. We try not to recommend content that promotes extreme dieting, dangerous stunts, or dangerous sports performed by non-professionals that, if replicated, could lead to injury. TikToks filmed while driving will also be ineligible for recommendation. (Note that we remove content that depicts or promotes eating disorders, dangerous acts and challenges, and reckless driving.)
We hope this guidance can help creators understand how we approach content recommendation as we work to keep TikTok welcoming and safe for everyone.
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