Issues with TikTok FYP- Users reporting TikTok is showing them irrelevant videos

    TikTok’s “For You Page” seems to be not so for you anymore. That’s what users report, and no one knows why. 

    The For You Page on TikTok is the social media platform’s popular feature, especially since it is the first-page users land when they first open the app. If you’re more of an Instagram fan, think of TikTok’s FYP as Instagram’s explore page. The For You Page is the place in the app where videos posted go viral as millions of people around the world see the content you share.

    Yet, it seems that on the 17th of March, TikTok’s FYP has suddenly reset, causing users to see irrelevant content, which basically beats the purpose of this feature of the app. The FYP is supposed to show personalized content that individual users enjoy based on their interest or previous videos watched on the app. 

    The issue has caused many of its users to go on rival social media sites such as Twitter to express their dissatisfaction with the content they are getting on their FYP. Now, it’s understandable why users are frustrated by the issue, considering the app’s algorithm that should help, how much time users spend on the app to get their FYP to just where they want it, and how much data TikTok collects to personalize content. If the issue won’t be fixed soon, the frustration of users is only likely to grow. 

    TikTok’s popularity

    Since it was released back in 2016, TikTok enjoyed massive popularity among users around the world. 

    The social media platform had some ups and downs during this time. While enjoying a lot of popularity in some parts of the world, in others, the app ended up being completely banned. For example, last year, in 2020, TikTok was completely banned in India. In July 2018, the app saw a temporary ban in Indonesia. A few days ago, the app was also banned from Pakistan. Plus, let’s not forget about the huge debacle of TikTok’s potential ban from the US. Yet, despite these obstacles, the app was, and still remains, extremely popular among users, especially among teenagers. 

    Today, TikTok is one of the fastest-growing social media networks in the world because it is fun, engaging and keeps you scrolling through video content for hours. Just in case you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years, and you don’t know what TikTok is (or you’re part of the Millennial generation that recalls TikTok as being Kesha’s pop hit), we’ll talk a bit about what the app does. In short, TikTok allows users to shoot and create short videos using in-app music, filters, and plenty of other fun features. 

    TikTok’s can be fun, some can be cringe, but they are all somehow addictive. There’s no doubt here. 

    Today, data shows that there are over 689 million active users every month, making the social network the seventh biggest platform when it comes to how many users it attracts. TikTok is actually even more popular than other social networks that have been around for a lot longer such as Twitter, Snapchat, or Pinterest. 

    What’s more, the app was downloaded over 2 billion times from both Google Play and App Store, becoming the most downloaded app from Apple’s App Store. 

    So, it’s clear that the app is very popular. Yet, can the recent issue affect its popularity? 

    The FYP issue can make TikTok lose users

    It’s no doubt that TikTok is loved by many users. Yet, as the problem with the FYP reset prevents users from getting the same relevant content they are used to, will the app’s adoration suffer? 

    A major part of its success is precisely the fact that it runs on an algorithm that delivers people very relevant content, tuning their feeds based on their interests. For a lot of time, the app’s algorithm was seen as something incredibly complex and mysterious, given the fact that it did succeed in showing users content perfectly in line with their interests. Yet, recently, the social media giant has revealed what influences what users see on their FYP. The algorithm uses the hashtags the users use, the user’s location, the user’s likes and accounts followed, music choices, and even the first video ever liked by the users on the platform. What’s more, the app’s algorithm also considers details such as account settings (like language preferences) and even the device used by the user. 

    However, since yesterday, many users found out that they don’t get the same advantages from using the app as they were used to as their FYPs have been reset. 

    As a result, the online platform that provides users with real-time information about the status of different websites, Down Detector, experienced a massive spike in complaints regarding the aforementioned issue. 

    How is the issue affecting users? Well, instead of being provided with relevant videos that users actually want to see, based on their interests, they are provided with far more generic videos. So, simply put, in the FYP, the content went from highly relevant to irrelevant. 

    Now, the problem doesn’t only affect users but also content creators. Think about it: if the app continues to show irrelevant content to users, this makes it almost impossible for content creators to reach their targeted audiences. Plus, some users may also find the app useless as it doesn’t provide them with tailored entertainment as it used to. Some are still trying to re-like as much content as possible to make their FYP relevant again based on their interests.

    So far, the social media giant has not made any official statement on what has caused the issue that is affecting so many users. Therefore, this has left users with no other choice than to speculate on the app’s rivals’ platforms on what’s going on.

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