Most of the time, this only irritates the users, who want to see the people they want to see first and foremost, and have never liked ads anywhere, ever.
Occasionally they hit it out of the park.
There's an ad for a prop house with the tagline "Throw this at an actor" for their latest line of breakaway stuff, and I swear the algorithm can tell I'm still laughing at it.
Then there's tiktok.
Tiktok's algorithm is light-years ahead of any other social because it keeps giving you what you, the user, want. I noticed this when a friend of mine (who for lack of a better term, has been an influencer since before the term was coined) noticed that she was on there longer and longer without her noticing. Ads seem almost like an afterthought on tiktok. They're definitely nowhere near the profit-driven algorithms that govern other sites, which is a huge part of tiktok's popularity.
The question is, "why?"
I got the answer when I noticed a release in the national security news that a celebrity visitor to the white house had been tracked while they were there through tiktok when they used the app on the grounds.
Tiktok may not be owned by the CCP. But they are definitely controlled by the CCP. And the CCp isn't interested in selling ad space.
Ergo, the users aren't tiktok's product.
The real-time location of their users is tiktok's product.
Hence, the CCP has been able to track numerous VIP's, including several high-ranking government officials, through a social media phone app designed to upload real-time location data on a regular basis.
Now, so far, the CCP has only been shown to use this data against their own people. CCP police have set up shop in several American cities, targeting Chinese dissidents and refugees, threatening them and their families back in the PRC. Three were recently convicted in a court case of harassing, threatening, and even assaulting Chinese students here in the U.S.
Is this a danger to ordinary Americans?
Not yet. But imagine the political party you hate the most being able to know where you are within about 100 yards at any given time because the one site all your friends and the people you like are on is telling them.
Take care of yourselves out there.