TikTok, the world’s most popular short-video platform, is testing a new AI chatbot called Tako. The tool has the potential to revolutionize the way users browse and discover content on the app.
Tako works through an interface that is accessed through a button located in the upper right corner of the screen, just above the account profile icon. Once users enter the interface, they can begin to make queries to the chatbot.
Tako is able to respond to questions and requests in a variety of ways. For example, if a user is watching food videos and wants to know the recipe for a particular dish, they can ask Tako. The chatbot will deliver a list of TikTok videos that cover the need.
Tako can also be used to discover new content outside of the user’s main interests. The smart bot will show suggested prompts to help users start a conversation.
For example, a suggested message from Tako visible in a screenshot says: “What is the significance of the coronation of King Charles III?”. By selecting the chat proposal, it seems that users will receive a series of selected videos to answer the question.
Tako promises to bring a new personalized browsing experience with content specifically targeted to users.
“Tako’s text-based query feature allows users to enter additional information, providing TikTok with valuable data to further improve its recommendation algorithm,” said the team at Watchful Technologies, the company responsible for developing Tako.
TikTok confirmed that the tool “works with a third-party chat assistant”, although it did not specify which AI model is behind the new chatbot.
Despite the fact that TikTok filed a trademark application in April to use the term “Tako” as the signature of a “chatbot software”, the platform indicates “there are no plans for this beyond the initial tests”. In any case, it would not be surprising if TikTok officially launched Tako in the coming months.
The launch of Tako is in line with the trend of social platforms betting on artificial intelligence to improve the user experience. In recent weeks, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta, said that the company is already working to “introduce AI agents to billions of people” through its major platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, or WhatsApp.
Meta’s announcement is in line with the recent bet by Snapchat, a platform that launched its intelligent chatbot, My AI, in February, to make it available to more than 750 million monthly users who use its service two months later.
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