The Psychology Behind TikTok’s Addictive Feed

Aditi Jha
3 min readJan 25, 2022


Have you ever wondered why people are so addicted to Tiktok? Why can't they stop scrolling even after hours and hours? Well, I may answer it better. Keep reading to find out!!

According to those who watch these short videos on regular basis, these videos help them get refreshed from work. These videos are a form of entertainment and joy for them. People laugh when they view these short funny videos of people doing absolute nonsense stuff. Well, there is a psychology behind it that they don't know. Let's see what is their psychology to keep people busy with their stuff.

When you download Tiktok and start making your account, it asks for your interests. Tiktok follows an algorithm where they only display those stuff that is of people's interest otherwise people won’t see it. That’s why they ask for users’ interest. Then at first, they'll feed you with some of the most viewed or most liked videos to gain your interest. It means for some time in starting, you will see videos of your interests. Until and unless you manually pause the video, it will keep you in the loop. The first thing to notice in the design of the Tiktok app is its immersive interface. Now, what is this?

What is an immersive interface?

An immersive interface means full-screen size content that is distraction-free. In such an interface, the user finds it easy to use the app. It helps in achieving user engagement. According to a study, these brands saw a huge increase in user engagement by providing full-screen content.

Now when you saw the first video, it will automatically tell you to scroll down to view more such videos. When you scroll down for the first time, it is difficult to get yourself out of this loophole. Usually, it is known as the Dominos effect. You must have heard of it or have seen it in many videos.

Dominos Effect

Dominos effect

It is a chain reaction where the user is bound to scroll down again and again. For example, in this picture, when you push the first item, everything else will also fall off. This is nothing but Dominos's effect. In the case of Tiktok, it wants you to just swipe once to get into this Dominos effect.

Now, for some next videos, it will feed you something related to your own country. Now you must be wondering how did it know your location, right? It uses your IP to provide you with better content. This is called IP sniffing for personalization. Let's read about it.

IP sniffing For Personalization

The app can detect your location based upon ou IP address. And then it provides you with the content of people around you.

On a general basis, Tiktok feeds you with the videos having these points-

  • Simple
  • Unexpected
  • Concrete
  • Emotional
  • Story

This is the trick to keep you busy with the videos. Now, later on, you may encounter some videos having a lower number of likes and views. This happens just to promote them. Also, you won’t mind seeing some videos like that, right?

That was all about how Tiktok is making people addicted. In short, these three points will make you realize-

  • Short: 16 seconds on average (9x shorter than Facebook’s average). Therefore, people won't mind wasting some time scrolling. Also, the feed adapts faster which results in so much scrolling.
  • Snapped: There’s no “aim” needed, just flick your finger and the video will be immersive every time.
  • Surprising: You either learn, laugh, or be weirded out, but you always get something personalized. Each video comes with an emotion that people love.

Now stop wasting your time around these videos. Your time can be put to good use. Use your time wisely and don’t let any app steal it form you.



Aditi Jha

Hello everyone, iam Aditi Jha from Delhi and Iam pursuing in electronics and communication from Banasthali Vidyapith.