It’s all about the algorithm.
Social media is an important space for those who have studied it and tried to find ways to attract users to your content. The algorithm that decides what they see is extremely important. This space is dominated by Instagram and Facebook, and has been for many years. When you see content that is appealing to you, you’re more likely to keep coming back.
That’s why, when TikTok was recently named the top social media app of 2022 so far this quarter, I took note. Everyone seems to love it.
Fortunately, there’s an answer to this question.
All it takes is an algorithm. The content engine at TikTok that knows you best makes TikTok even more attractive. Spend more time looking at how-to videos about plumbing and you will see more such videos. TikTok is a great place to find funny clips and songs.
The beast feeds it, and you are the beast. You can say what you wish about the TikTok system being nefarious, or even downright malicious, but it has created a perpetual interest engine that feeds content to your liking, making you scroll faster, and in turn, allowing you to see more of the content you love. It’s amazing to think of another company that can do this. Imagine an ice cream shop knowing what flavor you prefer, and mixing them to create a more attractive flavor. That makes you want more.
In my case, I’m more drawn to anything about cars, since I’ve been reviewing them for more than a decade. I love seeing any videos that showcase a new model, and I’m a sucker for longer videos that explain some of the technology available.
There’s never been a category of technology that can feed itself like this before. It is what we enjoy that we end up loving over the years. You feel like you are part of the app, it learns about you and gives us the food we want. However, this is based on the knowledge that you won’t reach the end. It will keep you craving more which, in turn, means that the app gets even better at fulfilling those cravings.
It means that we’ll only ever eat ice-cream, as in my example of ice cream.
I’m not exactly against this, by the way. It’s admirable to see a product create such a sense of wonder and excitement for users, which then continues to improve with time. There’s never been any product that feeds this “just one more” mentality. You might think it is chocolate chip cookies or chips and salsa, but that product doesn’t actually become more alluring over time.
TikTok is the winner of the social media battle this year, as it has the largest number of users. However, I do have issues with the social media companies. They don’t seem to know how to stop alluring users. I’d prefer if they interrupted the feed and suggested the user take a break. A book I recently wrote about ways to curb bad social media habits through a daily regimen. As is often the case with the best and smartest technology, we become so obsessed with it, we can’t stop ourselves, which then creates companies like Apple and Google.
TikTok is downright mesmerizing, and it’s all about that algorithm constantly adjusting the feed as you watch certain types of videos. I’m guessing TikTok will become even more alluring throughout the year, especially if they keep feeding me more and more car videos.