TikTok launches its first personalized annual recap feature, ‘Year on TikTok’
Spotify users have Wrapped and Instagram users have their Top 9. And now TikTok users will have their own year-in-review feature, too. The company today announced the launch of its first personalized annual recap feature with the launch of “Year on TikTok,” a video highlight reel that showcases individual users’ own top TikTok moments. This includes things like how long you’ve been on TikTok, what sort of videos you watched most, your favorite tracks and creative effects, metrics on how often you commented and shared videos, and more.
The feature will also identify your favorite “vibes” — meaning, the sort of videos you like best, such as crafts, cooking, animals, travel, Cottagecore or any of the now numerous communities that have sprung up on the social video platform.
If users haven’t been on TikTok long enough to have developed their own “vibe,” TikTok says their “Year on TikTok” will include other top videos from its “Year on TikTok: Top 100” list instead.
The content for the recap is presented in a familiar way. You’ll vertically scroll down through a video that details your 2020 interests and activities. You then have the chance to share that video directly to your own TikTok profile in order to receive a special profile badge that puts a “2020” on top of your profile photo.
The app’s “Year on TikTok” page also includes other TikTok highlights to browse through, including top memes, top creators, top viral videos, most impactful creators, top celebs, top songs and other year-end trends.
TikTok users can access their “Year on TikTok” by tapping the icon on their For You feed — a prominent placement — or by scrolling to the banner at the top of the app’s Discover page.
The accuracy of TikTok’s recap is debatable. For example, even though every other video in my For You feed is related to politics and news (go figure!), TikTok informed me my top “vibes” were things like home, travel and animal videos. That’s true too, but it’s an incomplete list and doesn’t match up with the majority of my past “likes.” It seems that TikTok may be curating the experience to focus on more positive “vibes” — and political videos and themes didn’t make the cut.
Regardless of its attempts at spin, social features that offer users a personalized retrospective of how they engaged with an app through the year have proven to be fairly popular — and a good marketing mechanism, as well.
Spotify’s Wrapped, for instance, has been so well-received that people began to complain that people’s Wrapped shares were dominating and overwhelming their social feeds at year-end. Spotify this year partially addressed this problem by offering new customization options for its 2020 Wrapped that let users adjust the color of their Wrapped card before sharing. This way, the flood of Wrapped shares wouldn’t look quite as homogenous as in prior years, and may be perceived as less of an annoyance.
The “Year on TikTok” feature will likely do well, too, though it’s hard to track. The hashtag #YearOnTikTok is up to 5.4 billion views, thanks to users who are adopting the tag in hopes of propelling their videos to a wider audience or getting on the For You page. The real test will be how many creators end up with the 2020 badge stuck on their profile in the days to come.
While TikTok’s feature is fun, if you find it somewhat lacking there are third-party alternatives.
One app, Retroplay, launched its own 2020 TikTok Year in Review this month. The app does more than just round-up your own stats and metrics. Users can also vote for their favorite creators and videos through Retroplay’s “Superlatives” awards, collect cards from favorite creators and customize their own highlight reel. But the app is brand-new and struggling with bugs — the highlight reel is currently down while it’s being fixed, for instance, and the app couldn’t resolve a username that began with a period instead of a letter, we found.
“We wanted to focus more on the year-in-review for content creators, and over the past two weeks have been working with creators to get their ideas. We’ve temporarily disabled the Highlight Reel feature based on feedback,” the developers responded in an email to TechCrunch. They said creators will be able to create their Top 4 or Top 9 video compilations through a new feature launching at the end of the week.
The app also had difficulties pulling data as TikTok didn’t offer an API and cut them off from accessing public-facing user videos and pulling stats.
But the app’s design is catchy and the interactive features are engaging, so hopefully the developer can address the other issues soon — and before year-end!