TikTok Is Changing How the “For You” Feed Works

TikTok logo.

If you’re ever been scrolling your For You feed and come across a video that feels distinctly not for you, the new customisation tools TikTok is rolling out will be very appealing. Think less #gentleminions and more #homehacks.

The short-form video platform is giving users more ways to filter the kind of content they want to see in the app. Among the changes is a way to filter out videos containing certain words or hashtags, and improvements to the way the app makes sure you don’t see too much of the same content over and over.

The update also has a big focus on safety, especially regarding age-appropriate content and sensitive content like dieting and mental wellbeing.

“We are working to build a new system to organise content based on thematic maturity,” TikTok said in a blog post announcing the changes. “Many people will be familiar with similar systems from their use in the film industry, television, or gaming and we are creating with these in mind while also knowing we need to develop an approach unique to TikTok.”

Here are all the upcoming TikTok For You feed changes.

Filtering Content By Keywords

The update will let users filter out videos containing words or hashtags they’re not interested in. All you’ll need to do to filter out keywords is long press on a video and tap “Not interested” on the menu that opens. A notification will pop up telling you “We’ll show fewer videos like this” with an option to see more details — click on this and a new Filter hashtags menu will open. Simply select the keywords you’re not interested in and press submit.

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This feature will let users customise their For You feed, whether that’s because they’ve just finished a home project so DIY tutorials aren’t relevant anymore, because they’re eating more plant-based meals and want to see less dairy and meat recipes or because they’re simply not interested in a trend.

TikTok says the feature will be available to everyone in the coming weeks.

Flagging Mature Content With New Content Levels

A new feature called Content Levels will age-gate certain videos that the algorithm recognises as containing mature or complex themes. These videos will be assigned a maturity score, which will prevent younger users from viewing them and potentially being exposed to inappropriate content.

TikTok already bans videos containing nudity, violence, depictions of self harm and other dangerous content flagged in the Community Guidelines, so Content Levels will instead focus on things in the For You feed like frightening, fictional scenes.

Content Levels will be introduced for users aged between 13-17 in the coming weeks and then rolled out as an optional feature for older users.

“We have focused on further safeguarding the teen experience first and in the coming months we plan to add new functionality to provide detailed content filtering options for our entire community so they can enjoy more of what they love.”

Diversifying Video Recommendations

Last year, TikTok started testing ways to stop repeatedly serving content that “may be fine as a single video but potentially problematic if viewed repeatedly, such as topics related to dieting, extreme fitness, sadness, and other well-being topics.”

Now, TikTok has given an update on this change, saying the system is still being improved, especially when it comes to content that contains both “encouraging and sad themes, such as disordered eating recovery content.”

While Content Levels and the ability to filter content will be rolled out for users in the upcoming weeks, this is more of an ongoing change to improve your For You feed.

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