Industry buzz around TikTok's role in search started as a hum. Now the company is testing the Tako chatbot, which is designed to help make it easier to discover entertaining and inspiring content on TikTok.
In a tweet, the company's marketing communications department wrote: "We're in the early stages of exploring chatbot tools with a limited test of Tako with select users in the Philippines. Tako is an AI-powered tool to help with search and discovery on TikTok."
Google in July 2022 spoke publicly about a change in consumer behavior.
Google Senior Vice President Prabhakar Raghavan cited internal research of U.S. users between the ages of 18 and 24, saying that 40% of young people go to TikTok or Instagram, not Google Maps or Search, when searching for a place to eat lunch.
TechCrunch notes that the chatbot will appear on the right side of the TikTok interface, above the user’s profile and other buttons for likes, comments and bookmarks.
When tapped, according to the report, users can ask Tako questions about the video using natural-language queries or discover new content by asking for recommendations.
Watchful Technologies discovered the chatbot as TikTok publicly tested it. Now TikTok confirms that the tests are live.
Watchful reports that the chatbot uses AI to provide personalized recommendations, answer user queries, and seamlessly navigate users through the platform.
“By collecting specific user preferences, Tako enables TikTok to deliver hyper-targeted and personalized content,” Watchful wrote on a blog post. “This innovative approach to user assistance could set TikTok apart from other social media platforms.”