AI chatbots have gained immense popularity, and now TikTok is jumping on the bandwagon with its own AI chatbot called “Tako.” In limited testing in select markets, Tako appears on the right-hand side of the TikTok interface, offering users the ability to ask questions, seek recommendations, and discover new content. This move showcases TikTok’s commitment to innovation and creating a safe, entertaining, and creative platform for its community.
Users can engage with Tako by tapping on it and asking questions using natural language queries. Tako can provide information about video content, suggest related topics, and offer recommendations based on user preferences. For example, users can ask Tako about the significance of a particular video or request suggestions for funny pet videos. Tako responds with a list of results, including video names, authors, subjects, and links to suggested videos.
Testing is underway in other global markets, including an early limited test in the Philippines. It’s important to note that Tako will not appear on minors’ accounts, ensuring a safe environment for younger users.
As with other AI chatbots, TikTok acknowledges that Tako is an experimental feature, and its responses may not always be accurate. Users are advised not to rely on Tako for medical, legal, or financial advice. Conversations with Tako are reviewed for safety purposes and to enhance the user experience, raising concerns about data retention and privacy. TikTok allows users to manually delete their chat history, although the specifics regarding data retention policies remain undisclosed.
TikTok’s introduction of an AI chatbot like Tako signifies its ambition to go beyond answering video-related queries and become a content discovery platform. If successful, it could pose a threat to search engine giant Google, as TikTok users may bypass traditional search methods. This move aligns with the increasing trend of Gen Z users turning to platforms like TikTok and Instagram as their primary sources of information.