NIX Solutions: TikTok Increased Recommendation Algorithms Transparency

ByteDance has introduced a feature that explains the decision of TikTok’s recommendation algorithms to show the user a video in the “For You” tab.


To see why the algorithm added the video to the feed, the user needs to click on the share button and select the question mark icon. This section will list some of the factors that played a role in the recommendation.

“Our recommendation system is based on technical models, so we have tried to make the technical details clearer,” reads the press release.

In total, the developers identified four factors that affect the appearance of videos in the For You tab:

  • user interaction (viewing content, likes, comments, sending videos to friends, searching);
  • subscriptions or recommended accounts;
  • recently published content in the user’s region;
  • popular content in the user’s region.

The company said it plans to add “more detail and transparency” to this feature over time, so the explanations may become more detailed. According to a TikTok spokesperson, future versions may also include other factors that affect the app’s algorithm, such as account settings.

The developers believe that the innovation will make the recommendations more understandable to users. NIX Solutions adds that this change is part of TikTok’s broader move to prove its willingness to be more transparent about the inner workings of its app.