Brush Tik Tok, and finally you can free your hands? !

Lead: Recently, some netizens found that the "auto-play" option has been added to Tik Tok’s settings, so that everyone can finally skate in Tik Tok without eating at the same time? So, why didn’t Tik Tok do this function in the early days? We ask this question every day, let’s see what our friends say ~

Nowadays, brushing Tik Tok when bored has become a daily routine for many people.

At present, when using mobile phone to brush Tik Tok, users still need to manually slide up and down to switch videos. Many people, because they are too lazy to move, or are worried about the short video that has been playing circularly in their ears, have expressed the hope that Tik Tok can develop an automatic playing function.

Source: Weibo

Just in June this year, Tik Tok quietly started testing this function-

Tech Planet reported that from the test screenshots provided by netizens, it can be seen that the button option of "Auto Play" function is added in the "Settings" of Tik Tok App, and users can choose to turn it off or on. After turning it on, they can enjoy the function of automatically playing the next short video in Tik Tok App.

Regarding this function, Tik Tok Customer Service said: This function is currently in a small-scale test, some users have it, and some users don’t.

Source: Tech Planet

In fact, the function of "automatically playing the next video" has already been added to the Tik Tok Web version and iPad version.

Tik Tok Mobile, which is mainly used by users, why didn’t it start testing related functions until now? Why not do it early?

We ask the community this question every day to see what our friends say.

[Daily Question, Weekly Featured] No.193: Why didn’t Tik Tok introduce the automatic video switching function?

Part of the content of the article comes from @ Big Fish Stewed Begonia @ I don’t understand at all&I know a little @ Chestnut @ I must think @ mr.jie @ Chestnut’s wonderful answer.

The voice of the masses has existed for a long time, and it is not difficult to do an "automatic play" function, but why is it delayed?

Some product people think that Tik Tok’s strong point lies in recommendation algorithm, and Tik Tok also brings a large number of users with recommendation algorithm. If the auto-play function is enabled, the accuracy of Tik Tok algorithm will be affected to some extent.

According to the answer to @ I can’t think about it every day, we know that the birth of Tik Tok’s popular works needs the following steps:

  1. Double audit:In Tik Tok, a large number of new works are uploaded all the time, so videos need to be screened. It is easy to exploit loopholes only by machine audit, but it is unrealistic to rely solely on manual audit. Therefore, the double audit of machine and labor is the first layer of Tik Tok algorithm.
  2. Cold start:The recommendation algorithm used by Tik Tok is the well-known information flow funnel algorithm. After passing the double review, the system allocates a cold start flow pool for the video to be exposed (exposure of 200-300 people or more than 1,000 people).
  3. Data weighting:Finally, the system will decide the recommendation strength according to the data generated by the cold start, such as the broadcast rate, likes, concerns, comments, forwarding, powder transfer, and tour depth. Specific formula:

Broadcast volume =A* broadcast completion rate +B* likes rate +C* comments rate +D* forwarding rate.

If the broadcast volume exceeds a certain threshold, the current video will be pushed into the secondary flow pool, and so on, and the final video may become an explosion.

The system allocates a traffic pool for the video, with the purpose of judging whether the video can become a popular video or not, and pushing more recommended content to different users, that is, we often say that there are thousands of people.

According to the above recommendation formula, let’s take a look at what impact it will have on the recommendation algorithm if the automatic play function is added in Tik Tok in the early days:

The broadcast completion rate refers to whether the user has played the video completely and how long the video has been watched.

Suppose Tik Tok adds an automatic playback operation, which means that even if the user has watched the whole video, it doesn’t mean that he really likes it. Maybe he is just busy with his hands or people are not in front of the screen, so he is too lazy to cross it away.

In this way, if the automatic playback function is added in Tik Tok from the beginning, the broadcast completion rate can basically be regarded as meaningless data.

Tik Tok also designed other interactive behaviors in the user viewing interface, such as praise, comment, collection and forwarding.

The duration of short videos is very short, especially in the early stage, when many videos are only 30 seconds or even 15 seconds, users will generally judge whether this video is worthy of praise or comment after watching it.

If the automatic playback function is added, automatically switching to the next video will make users unable to digest what they see well. Under normal circumstances, a video of more than ten seconds can stay in the user’s mind for only a few seconds.

This will further affect the user’s interaction behavior, resulting in users having no time for the next interaction. Once the behaviors such as likes, comments and forwards are reduced, it will not be conducive to the development of social attributes and the dissemination of platform content. At the same time, it also makes it more difficult for recommendation algorithms to judge users’ preferences.

Therefore, Tik Tok’s recommendation algorithm can be more accurate only when the user’s viewing time, likes, collections, comments and other indicators are complete.

Then why does Tik Tok dare to play automatically now?

First of all, users are increasingly calling for Tik Tok to add automatic playback function.

Users who can’t make time to operate the lazy party in Tik Tok while eating and sleeping, who are keen on listening to film and television commentary, novels and music parties in Tik Tok, and users who are brainwashed by their elders by passers-by’s circular playback … all hope that Tik Tok can develop an automatic playback function.

Therefore, Tik Tok added the auto-play function to meet the needs of users.

Cmnet’s traffic is close to saturation, and Tik Tok is also facing a slowdown in the growth of active users. In this case, it is necessary to work hard on the length of users.

According to the data released by QuestMobile, the growth rate of active users in the short video industry has slowed down, while the user duration has accelerated.

In the early days of Tik Tok’s launch in 2016, Tik Tok featured a 15-second short video with the label "Cool, trendy and young", and the audience was mainly young people.

With the continuous expansion of user groups, the daily activity of Tik Tok will exceed 700 million in 2022, and further competition for user duration has become an important task for Tik Tok. Encouraging professional creators to produce and enrich the diversity of content is the basis for retaining users.

If Tik Tok still limits the short video duration to 15 seconds, it will limit the threshold of creators and will not increase the richness of video content. As a result, more and more 1-minute, 5-minute or even longer videos are supported to appear on Tik Tok.

The change of video duration means the decline of the broadcast rate. The longer the video, the more time and patience users need to invest, and the decline in the broadcast rate is an inevitable trend.

Therefore, to a certain extent, it is relatively inaccurate to rely on the broadcast rate for algorithm recommendation. The influence of automatic playback function on algorithm recommendation is also weakening.

Auto-play function is very common in long video platforms such as iQiyi, Youku and bilibili, but in short video platforms, only Tik Tok took the lead in testing the auto-play function.

Bilibili’s automatic play reminder

Users watch a drama on the long video platform, and after watching it, the system will automatically play the drama-related tidbits, celebrity interviews, etc. However, in the short video platform, there is often no correlation between the upper and lower videos, so the short video platform cannot judge the user’s preferences through the related video content like the long video platform.

And Tik Tok dares to test the function of automatic playback, which has three advantages:

(1) the number of users is huge

According to the latest data in 2022, the number of mobile Internet users is 1.174 billion, while Tik Tok already has 1 billion users. Tik Tok’s daily active users are also ahead of other short video platforms.

Source: Gaoyu Capital

As a music original social APP originally targeted at young people, today’s content is far more than music, and the customer base is far more than young people.

(2) The video is rich in content

According to Tik Tok’s data report last year, more than 10 million works were uploaded to Tik Tok every day. The contents of the video are life, funny, talented and cute.

(3) Video content is widely spread.

No matter at any age, there are more and more people who are addicted to brushing Tik Tok. Some people say that an APP like Tik Tok is like a modern spiritual opium. The audience will not only be immersed in many video recommendations, but also spread the videos on it invisibly.

For example, a song that was very popular in Tik Tok some time ago, "Listen to me, thank you, because of you …", accompanied by magical dance, instantly became a popular video. Users who have seen this video will continue to imitate the video content and shoot similar videos. In this way, when one word goes around, a brainwashing communication will be formed among the public.

The number of times the song "Listen to me and thank you" was used in Tik Tok.

There are many users, rich content and wide spread. These advantages make Tik Tok no longer just "algorithm recommendation" deeply rooted in people’s hearts. At present, Tik Tok has more confidence to do more functions to bring better experience to users.

Some users guess that even if the auto-play function is fully launched in the end, the switch of this function needs to be set separately on Tik Tok mobile terminal, just like Tik Tok on PC terminal, the auto-play function is turned off by default, and users can manually turn on this function according to their own needs.

In this way, it can not only meet the needs of some users who need to automatically play videos in specific scenes, but also meet the needs of some users who like immersive video brushing.

Between keeping it as it is and making changes, Tik Tok chose to take a step forward and explore the function of meeting the needs of many parties, and the advantages accumulated by Tik Tok also gave Tik Tok the confidence to make changes.

Through this small-scale test of the auto-play function, will Tik Tok officially add the auto-play function? We will wait and see.


About "Why doesn’t Tik Tok introduce the automatic video switching function?" What’s your opinion? Click on the link below and let’s talk ~


"God’s reply every day" is a new column of daily questioning, which is dedicated to discovering wonderful quotations from friends who ask questions every day. Be smart, everyone is serious! If you like, remember to click on the question link and interact with TA. We are also looking forward to your speech here ~

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"Everyday Question" is a mutual help question-and-answer module under the product manager community, which is dedicated to the learning and exchange of knowledge in the fields of products, operations and marketing.

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