Hopefully also in the Netherlands
TikTok wants to highlight topics such as math, engineering, science and technology. It has therefore created a new tab for STEM (science, technology, engineering, maths) only. An important choice, because it will be placed right next to ‘Next’ and ‘For you’, which are very frequently used buttons on TikTok.
At least, we hope that this will also come to the Netherlands and will not only remain an option for America (America, which actually wants to ban TikTok). There are moderators on it who determine whether the video meets it and it is probably aimed at English-language videos, which TikTok probably does not consider to belong in the Dutch version.
We hope not. We hope it will come in our country, because it is very important that young people (and TikTok reaches it like no other) come into contact with these kinds of topics at an early age. Especially young girls, because with 16 percent women in tech in the Netherlands, we can use a lot of girls on IT courses. In other European countries, it seems to be somewhat more normal for women to also choose scientific, mathematical and technological professions.
It is not the case that every video about tech is suddenly in that feed, because collaborations have been sought with STEM organizations to determine whether a video indeed belongs under that tab. For example, it is the intention that videos pass by that are factually correct. The great thing about this new feed is that when you yourself are ‘locked up’ in an algorithm with animal videos, you can still make a trip to another subject. TikTok seems to have already tested this extensively, for example with a fashion feed, and so on.
It could certainly add value. For example, in light of the elections, TikTok could have created a tab with only videos about politics. Although moderation is also very essential there, it could have sought cooperation with the government, just like Snapchat, so that it may even invest some money in paying the moderators (although TikTok itself is of course full of money and probably doesn’t need it) .
Personalization on TikTok
Other subjects could also be given a separate tab, such as King’s Day or a certain television program that everyone is talking about at that moment. Especially if you could choose what that third tab will be (and maybe even add a fourth and fifth), then you can break out of that algorithm every now and then and watch videos of a different caliber.
In the United States, the feed is not yet live either: that will follow in the coming weeks. We’ve asked TikTok for a response. Here’s what it says: “Right now, we’re focused on bringing the STEM feed to people in the US, and we look forward to seeing the TikTok community embrace this new source of enriching content.” So wait.