TikTok, a Chinese-owned video-sharing platform, has unveiled a set of new features tailored for European users, aligning with the EU’s Digital Services Act (DSA), as reported by Reuters on August 4. The prominent modification is the introduction of an option for users deactivate personalized videos recommendations. Opting for this setting will result in the absence of algorithmically curated content in the For You and Live feeds. Instead, users will be presented with popular videos based on their geographic location and from around the world. In addition, TikTok has committed to streamlining the process for European users to report illicit content and has resolved to cease providing personalized advertisements to users aged 13 to 17 within Europe.
The EU introduced the DSA in November 2022, with the aim of establishing a more secure digital environment for consumers and ensuring equitable conditions for businesses. The DSA imposes heightened obligations on 19 large online platforms and search engines, including TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube. These companies are required to monitor and remove illegal content on their platforms, restrict certain advertising practices, and share data with authorities. While these companies are subject to the same regulatory oversight, the alteration involving personalized recommendations could have a more pronounced impact on TikTok. The platform’s success is largely attributed to its captivating For You Page and the advanced content-selection algorithm underpinning it.