The Wall Street Journal published an investigation video that found TikTok just needs an important information to figure out user interest, i.e. the amount of time a user consume on a particular content. This algorithm tracks user’s time spent record used to watching TikTok content.
The Wall Street Journal created bot accounts for the experiment
The Wall Street Journa analysts ran an experiment where they created bot accounts with assigned interests. The bots watched videos in TikTok, pausing or replaying any that had images or hashtags relevant to those interests. The WSJ team reviewed the results with Guillaume Chaslot, an algorithm expert who previously worked at YouTube.