Links Shared From TikTok Have Read Receipts

Louise Matsakis, Wired:

In May, TikTok began rolling out another feature that’s less standard. By default, it now suggests your account “to people who sent links to you or opened links you sent to them,” even on other apps. That means if you share a random TikTok video with a stranger on a dating site, it will show them your TikTok profile without any warning, as long as they click on the link. In return, you will receive a notification that they watched it prompting you to follow their account.

“Now when I share videos with people, I often get a notification telling me they’ve watched the video I’ve shared,” Eugene Wei, a former tech executive who previously published a series of viral essays about TikTok, wrote on his blog last month. “Often these notifications are the only way I know they even have a TikTok account and what their username is.”

Matsakis reports that TikTok also uses shared URLs to establish personal network connections and suggest accounts users can follow. Yet another violation of users’ trust by a big social media company that will have virtually no consequences for it or the managers who decided to make this change.