TikTok: video virality at the whim of employees, disturbing disclosures

JVTech News TikTok: video virality at the whim of employees, disturbing disclosures

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While it has long been believed that TikTok trends are managed by an algorithm, this does not seem entirely so: in fact, employees of the social platform will be able to choose for themselves whether a video is a buzz or not. And that changes everything for influencers.

We no longer present the social network TikTok : it is one of the favorite platforms of young people, many of them spend hours on it during the day. TikTok provides access to millions of new videos every daybut the fact is, not all have the same success. Some go viral and can be viewed tens of millions of times others are forgotten as soon as they are posted.

For content creators, it’s an unspoken rule: the algorithm chooses which videos are trending upwhich is usually synonymous with success. Sometimes it only takes one video playing in the “For You” tab to jump to the top.

TikTok is not just an algorithm

Therefore, the TikTok algorithm will become a smart computer program capable of automatically determining which videos have the most potential to be buzzed, and possibly bring fame to their creators. But the reality will be different, at least in part. American media Forbes disclose, in an investigationthat TikTok won’t just rely on algorithms to “push” certain videos : employees of ByteDance, the company that owns TikTok responsible for selecting certain videos manually to increase their visibility.

This process will be known internally as “warming up”, which can be translated as “warming up”. According to Forbes, who cross-checked the information with multiple sources who work or have worked for TikTok and rely on internal company documents, the social platform will therefore have a “secret button” capable of immediately pushing the video to the topwithout going through the “analysis” box through the algorithm.

“Warm up refers to increasing the video in your For You stream through operational intervention to reach a certain number of video views”describes TikTok’s internal documents. “Total video views of boosted videos make up a large portion of total daily video views, around 1-2%, which can have a significant impact on the overall basic metrics. »

Source: Solen Feyissa via Unsplash

A troublesome method that shouldn’t improve the image of TikTok

No wonder, this Forbes disclosure annoys both users and advertisers, as it is synonymous with internal manipulation. TikTok frankly acknowledges this practice Forbes : A ByteDance spokesperson explained that the purpose of this manual upgrade is to help “to diversify content and introduce our community to some new creators and other celebrities”. However, another reason is that this method will allow the platform to attract more influencers and brands to sign contractsapproach to trading is far from simple “content diversification”.

In fact, TikTok may not be the only platform doing this.. But it was he who was pinned today and the fact that this information came from the American media risks not improving the platform situation in the United States. As a result, TikTok is still under suspicion of spying for the Atlanticand the app could even be banned outright in the US soon.

TikTok defends itself with Forbes added that the enhanced content only represents “0.002% of videos appear in the For You feed” and “for content published in the United States, only a few people based in the United States have the possibility to use this tool”. It is uncertain whether this declaration restores China’s platform image with its critics.

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