Personalization technology

“Toutiao’s early recommendation system, its so-called “personalization technology,” was, at the time, rudimentary. Open the app, and the user would be bombarded with top-read articles to keep them immediately hooked. Next, it would mix in more targeted click-bait articles appealing only to specific demographics to test and determine who the reader was. The user clicking on the article with a big preview picture of a female car show model is probably male. The other user consistently reading moralistic feel good “chicken soup for the soul” articles is probably a senior citizen. Supplementing this guesswork was basic information such as the user’s phone model, geographical location, and the time of day they opened the app.”

Excerpt From: Brennan, Matthew. “Attention Factory: The Story of TikTok and China’s ByteDance.”