How TikTok Reads Your Mind (READ This)

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A successful video app took the world by storm. TikTok users are now more than 1 billion, which makes it the dominant video app for mobile devices.

But what’s so magic about TikTok? Are TikTok videos really that entertaining, or is there something behind them?

This is way more than a short video app - some people say that it reads your mind! And with some people, we meant the Wall Street Journal and NY Times, of course.

But how true is this really? Does TikTok read your mind, or is this just non-sense? In today’s post, we will explain the following topics:

  • How TikTok reads your mind;
  • Understanding TikTok’s algorithm;
  • What to know about TikTok “mind-reading powers.”

How TikTok Reads Your Mind

TikTok does not really “read your mind,” but that’s a good way to describe what happens when you open the app.

It just happens that the TikTok algorithm works so well, that it appears to read minds.

Other social media platforms, such as Facebook, also have their own recommendation system, but none of them is as powerful as the one present on the most successful video app of 2022.

A leaked document offers powerful insights, which is why big new portals, such as the New York Times, have provided the new details and a revealing glimpse to understand how viral videos work on TikTok.

Read Also: Trying to go live on TikTok, but for one reason or another, you cannot sign in to the platform? Perhaps there’s an outage going on and TikTok is not working right now. Search no more - check our related article to get more information about just what you need!

How Does TikTok Algorithm Work? TikTok Algorithm Explained

The one and only purpose of TikTok algorithm is to keep you on the app as long as possible.

But as this goal seems to be simple on the surface, it’s a very complex mechanism with thousands of variables.

A company spokeswoman called Hillary McQuaide, revealed that TikTok’s algorithm has four main goals: keep user value, expand long-term user goals, creator value and platform value.

The company’s understanding of human nature and cultural cues alongside the app’s mathematical core has created a new level of retention as we have never experienced before.

But let’s keep technical terms aside and let’s take a more in-detail look at the data that makes the algorithm work in simple words.

User Retention

There are two closely related metrics to this matter: viewing time, and “true” retention. When new users sign in to the platform, they are presented with videos based on current trends.

Once a person continues to watch more videos, the time they spend watching or making a comment helps TikTok to optimize similar content within their feed.

In short: the more you watch, the more the app shows you similar stuff.

Long-Term User Value

One thing is to keep users retained for some minutes, and another thing is crafting a long-time strategy feed based on their preferences.

Long-term user value is one of the most difficult things to achieve, and the TikTok company has found the secret sauce behind it. Scary, isn’t it?

Daily Active Users

One of the four main goals of the company is to increase the number of daily active users. How do they do this, you ask?

They add user value to the content and connect them with their preferences faster than ever before.

TikTok doesn’t need a month to know your interests - a couple of days are more than enough.

Creator Value

TikTok would be nothing without creators, and creators make the videos that people love watching.

Picture this for a moment: do you think it would be possible for TikTok to be so successful if they didn’t implement features such as lip sync, filters, trends, TikTok memes, and so on?

The ability to create value is what powers the algorithm in an intrinsic way that benefits both creators and viewers.

Platform Value

If there are more comments, videos, content, and trends around TikTok, the platform will become increasingly more valuable.

In order to explain the ultimate goal before “platform value,” it’s important to note that everything that TikTok does has an agenda behind it.

TikTok Addiction

One of the core things TikTok algorithm feeds off is you, or more precisely - your desires.

TikTok revolves around ego and self-validation. Users who create content want to see who liked their TikToks, get more views, get viral, and subsequently grow within the platform.

But this addiction is more severe in viewers. For example, it is easy to spend several minutes or hours on TikTok before realizing you have lost valuable time of your day.

They look for your “content weaknesses” and attack them magnificently and elegantly. It’s a machiavellian, perfectly crafted to fulfill its ultimate retention goal.

You can learn more about TikTok Addiction here.

How TikTok Reads Your Mind Depends on YOU

We are not saying that you should stop using TikTok. At the end of the day, this entertainment platform is where it is for a reason.

But everything in excess is bad. Social media addiction is a real thing, and now it is more noticeable than ever before.

Ask yourself this: have you ever wondered how Twitter or the long-gone MySpace read your mind? We don’t think so.

So, why do you ask yourself this when it comes to TikTok? You already know the answer to this question.

You can always delete TikTok if you don’t feel comfortable anymore. For more TikTok news and insights, you can find them all here, at GrowFollowing.


What Do Psychologists Say about TikTok?

Psychologists have mentioned that it’s easy for kids and teenagers to get addicted to the dopamine blast provided by short TikTok videos. You can learn more about this matter by clicking here.

About the author

Karen is a senior technical writer and copywriter here at GrowFollowing. Her area of expertize are social media apps and new media.