TikTok has Secret 'Heating' Button Which Can Make Any Video Go Viral
TikTok has Secret 'Heating' Button Which Can Make Any Video Go Viral

TikTok has Secret 'Heating' Button Which Can Make Any Video Go Viral

21 january, 20231 minute to read
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Company confirms its own employees could decide which content will get through recommendations.

TikTok said that some of their US employees have the ability to boost users' videos. The developers confirmed this information in a conversation with Forbes. Employees used the "Heating" button to place some users’ videos into the recommendations section.

Jamie Favazza, a spokesperson for TikTok, said the company is using the tool for more than just increasing views on certain videos. "Heating" helps to diversify the user's feed so that it does not consist of one or two trends. But sources told Forbes that TikTok used button to court influencers and brands, enticing them into partnerships by inflating their videos’. It could give benefits to some influencers and brands whom TikTok has sought business relationships.

According to the documents that Forbes received, employees could independently make decisions about promoting the video. They could use the button to "attract influencers” and “promote diverse content,” but also to “push important information” and “promot[e] relevant videos that were missed by the recommendations algorithms”.

According to Favazza, TikTok boosted 0.002% of video in “For You” feed, but Forbes got a document claiming that the company boosted “around 1-2 percent” of “total daily video views”. The journalists noted that the promoted videos didn't have any promotion marks. They look like any regular video in the service.

In December, TikTok announced a new panel to recommended videos titled “Why This Video”. It would tell users how a given video had been chosen for them. Forbes asked about the new feature which could disclose when videos had been heated. Favazza wrote, “we're continuing our work to expand our 'why this video' feature and provide more granularity and transparency to content recommendations.”

Exactly how TikTok's announcement will impact the platform's business is not yet clear. The use of synthetic promotions makes the algorithm less transparent. Creators might also lose interest in the platform due to this.


21 january, 2023
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