Tiktok is PREBUILDING social graphs using data from their wildly detailed link click tracking
This isn’t true for broadcast social apps, but nearly always for IRL friend apps (except cases like YOLO builton other graphs)
- As a founder who built a stupid amount of social apps, I have plenty of PTSD from this problem.
- A few months ago, this article got big on tech twitter as people started to understand how detailed their data is.
Here’s how it works:
Friend A has an account & shares tiktok link to Friend B who doesn’t have an account. But because Tiktok knows deviceID from link clicks they can continue to track Friend B
Friend B, who still doesn’t have an account, opens a link sent to them by Friend C.
Thus, Tiktok can assume Friends A, B, and C know each other IRL.
Friend D sends a link to Friend C. Tiktok then assumes Friend A knows Friend D.
Tiktok serves Friend D’s content in Friend A’s personalized/algorithmic feed, based on weights of these edges.