What makes TikTok’s technology unique?
TikTok’s technology stands apart from other social media platforms for one major reason: its use of algorithmic curation.
What does that mean?
It means that the more you watch a certain type of content on TikTok, the more you’ll see that content—and related, relevant content—on the platform.
TikTok has no homepage. Instead, users see only a content feed created by how long he or she watches a video.
This structure differs starkly from Facebook, YouTube, Spotify, and other platforms. Whereas these platforms merely use AI as part of the user experience, TikTok “uniquely analyzes users’ interests and preferences based on how they interact with the content.”
In other words, while other social media platforms merely recommend content, TikTok “aggressively dictates what you can see.”
This “lack of choice” provides unique opportunities for advertisers to hone in on an audience that is, in a sense, forced to view their content.
There is no more captive audience.
Think of it like a subreddit: the platform's algorithm siphons users into subreddit-esque categories where they see content solely related to that theme.
TikTok guides its users into very content-specific feeds via its FYP (“For You” page). Contrast this technique with Instagram’s algorithm, which shows you what/who you follow.