Exciting news for TikTok enthusiasts in the European Union! The popular video-sharing platform is set to introduce a whole new experience without its infamous, AI-driven ‘For You’ feed.
TikTok recently announced that it will soon allow users in the EU to opt out of its highly engaging content-selection algorithm. This move is in compliance with the EU’s Digital Services Act (DSA), which mandates popular platforms to provide users with the choice to view content recommendations that do not rely on tracking and profiling their activities.
What the DSA Means for TikTok Users in Europe
Under the DSA, users will have the option to see a non-personalized ‘For You’ feed, where content will not be algorithmically selected for stickiness based on their past interactions. Instead, they will be presented with videos that are popular in their region and preferred language.
In addition to the non-personalized ‘For You’ feed, the DSA also impacts other aspects of TikTok’s user experience:
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- Search Results: Search on the platform will also be non-personalized, with results based on popular content from the user’s region and preferred language, rather than intended to grab attention.
- Following and Friends Feeds: For users who opt-out of personalization, content in their Following and Friends feeds will be displayed in chronological order, not based on individual profiling.
DSA-driven Changes in Europe
TikTok is making several changes to comply with the DSA in the EU:
- Ads Transparency Library: TikTok recently launched its first-ever ads transparency library, initially available only for ads running in Europe. This move aims to provide more transparency around advertising practices on the platform.
- Age-based Personalized Ads Ban: Users aged between 13 and 17 in Europe will no longer receive personalized advertising based on their activities on or off the platform. The DSA strictly prohibits serving personalized ads to minors.
- Content Reporting Option: TikTok is introducing an “additional content reporting option” for European users. This feature will allow users to report content they believe is illegal, supplementing the platform’s AI-driven content moderation.
- Greater Transparency in Content Moderation Decisions: TikTok will provide European users with more information about content moderation decisions, offering insight into why certain content may be ineligible for recommendation or removed.
Impact on Other Platforms
TikTok is not the only platform affected by the DSA. Other ad-funded platforms like Instagram and YouTube will also have to offer users the choice to opt-out of personalized content recommendations. The DSA aims to increase accountability and transparency around the use of AI-powered recommender systems.
TikTok’s move to offer non-personalized content recommendations for EU users is a significant shift, considering the platform’s success largely relies on its algorithmic recommendations. However, the EU’s DSA has made it mandatory for platforms to respect users’ privacy and provide more control over their content consumption.
By implementing these changes, TikTok aims to ensure compliance with the DSA and provide a more transparent and user-friendly experience for its European user base. Similar changes may apply in the UK, with more details expected to be announced soon. Stay tuned for updates!