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How TikTok reads your mind

  There are four main goals for TikTok's algorithm: , (), , and , which the company translates as "user value," "long-term user value," "creator value," and "platform value." That set of goals is drawn from a frank and revealing document for company employees that offers new details of how the most successful video app in the world has built such an entertaining — some would say addictive — product. The document, headed "TikTok Algo 101," was produced by TikTok's engineering team in Beijing. A company spokeswoman, Hilary McQuaide, confirmed its authenticity, and said it was written to explain to nontechnical employees how the algorithm works. The document offers a new level of detail about the dominant video app, providing a revealing glimpse both of the app's mathematical core and insight into the company's understanding of human nature — our tendencies toward boredom, our sensitivity to cultural cues — that help explai

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