TikTok will allow you to reset the For You feed if clips become repetitive or deal with uninteresting topics

Coming as a tacit acknowledgement of the “trap” some TikTok users are drawn into, ByteDance will allow resetting the For You feed for those users who find clips suggested for viewing by the platform’s algorithms too repetitive or uninspiring.

For example, users who show too much interest in a particular topic may end up being bombarded with clips almost exclusively on that topic, with TikTok’s algorithms amplifying that user’s preoccupation to the level of obsession. And if the concern is on a sensitive topic, such as self-image, or a challenge that has gone viral, we can already anticipate how some easily influenced people can be pushed into reckless acts just by watching the clips inserted into the TikTok feed.

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Although, it doesn’t come across as a very convincing explanation, the goal of TikTok’s algorithms is to maximize user engagement by delivering exactly the type of content they show interest in. The problem is that, as designed, the TikTok algorithms have no particular limit on the “dependency” they can give users. This can result in situations where users’ predispositions towards a specific type of content are mirrored and amplified by TikTok algorithms.

Acting on the principle, better late than never, ByteDance is now testing a feature called Refresh. As the name implies, the simple button option allows users to reset their selection of clips delivered to the For You feed if they conclude that the suggestions they receive have become repetitive, or irrelevant to their current viewing preferences. At the moment, it is unclear whether the new feature allows resetting TikTok algorithms down to the level of a newly registered account, or just a partial “relearning” of viewing preferences.

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The news comes after some US employees recently publicly acknowledged the existence of a “Heating” feature that allows any TikTok video to go viral at basically the push of a button.

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