So when you download the app, the Home page is called the “For You” page, and that’s all you need.
At first, you’ll get a lot of generic comedy that’s like… fine? but not really good enough to be worth it. It takes a day or two for the algorithm to learn what you like. So bear with it.
- If you like something and want to see more of that type of thing, watch the video all the way to the end. You can also Like it, but watching it to the end is more important.
- If you want to see less of something, scroll past. Be ruthless and impatient.
- Because the algorithm rewards watching videos to the end, sometimes people will caption them “Make sure to watch to the end!” or “Wait for the surprise at the end!” — there’s never a surprise. It’s the equivalent of clickbait. If you’re not enjoying the beginning or middle, don’t wait for the end.
- If something annoys you, SCROLL PAST. DO NOT COMMENT ABOUT HOW IT’S WRONG OR ANNOYING. You will just see more of it.
- Don’t click on the comments on any video, to be honest. The feed itself will be tailored to your interests, but the comments section will not be. For example, in this funny fake-tutorial about forgetting someone’s name, a commenter replies with advice about what to do in that situation, apparently unaware they’re seeing a comedy sketch. You don’t need to read that. It’s bad for your blood pressure.
- If you REALLY want to see less of something, press-hold until a menu comes up. Hit “Not interested”.
- From the long-press menu, you can also click “More” and from there you can click “Hide videos from this user” or “Hide videos with this sound”. (A lot of videos use the same song; it’s the equivalent of visual or text memes on other social media. So hiding a sound hides the meme. Remember that you can hide videos by sound because at some point you will become annoyed by one.)
- Follow a user if you want to see more of their videos (e.g. I follow the woman who makes the grave-cleaning TikToks).
- If you like something, look at the hashtags and see if they relate to what you liked about it. Click on the relevant hashtag. Click “Add to favourites”. You can also search for hashtags you know might interest you (e.g. maybe you like painting Warhammer figurines or linguistics or dressmaking).
- If you liked any of the stuff I posted above, sign into your account and go watch those TikToks through to the end. Add any relevant hashtags to your favourites. That should speed things up.
- At some point you’ll get a push notification. Turn off all notifications from TikTok forever.
- For the first day or three, you’ll be like, “this is okay I guess.” Then it’ll start showing you stuff in your niche and you’ll be like “oh my god I get it”.
More lifehack TikToks
How to re-seal a half-eaten packet of chips (with no clips) — Link
Cute t-shirt tuck method — Link
How to make an image have a transparent background in MS Word (kinda janky. but it’s for rubes like me who do all their “photoshopping” in Word) — Link
How to easily make post-its lay flat instead of flipping up — Link
This piece was originally published in The Whippet #113 – subscribe to get the next one in your inbox!
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