TikTok is testing a 'watch history' feature

The proposed update will finally let you find that one video you thought you lost forever.

by Jenna Mahale
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29 March 2022, 11:52am

Who among us has not been a victim of TikTok’s capricious scroll-and-load interface? You’re swiping along, minding your own business on the app that has so far brought you Sydney Sweeney fixing the rear suspension of an antique car and Rosalía trainspotting a Class 91 locomotive in London’s Kings Cross, when a glimmering ‘night luxe’ look catches your eye. You swipe up to retrieve the video and the FYP, tragically, refreshes. That video is lost to the ages now, as are your hopes and dreams of dressing on trend for your next night out on the town. So close and yet so far. Or, perhaps, not so far at all.

According to a new TechCrunch report, it looks like the platform is testing a feature that will allow TikTok users to browse through an archived list of previously-watched videos. Hammod Oh, a Twitter user who often uncovers beta updates of this kind for his followers, posted a screenshot that indicates each user’s “watch history” will be accessible from the “content and activity” section in the app’s settings. 

And he’s not the only one. “TIKTOK ADDED A WATCH HISTORY FEATURE !!!!!” another beta user wrote on Twitter, along with their own screencaps of the update. When reached for comment, a TikTok spokesperson told TechCrunch, “We’re always thinking about new ways to bring value to our community and enrich the TikTok experience.”

The lack of a watch history feature has been a deeply-felt one, with desperate users turning to complicated workaround methods to restore their briefly-beloved content. For example, a popular recovery method posted in January by @rachforaday — instructing users to go to the Discover page, click search, enter an asterisk, go to the search filters tab, toggle the “watched videos” button and click apply — has 5.5 million likes and 32.2 million views at the time of writing. Even so, this approach will only provide you with a list of videos viewed in the past seven days.

You can also request a zip file of all of your app’s data that will include your “video browsing history”, but no one should have to go through all that for, say, a 15-second clip of a cat dancing to ABBA, even if it is especially adorable and funny. Good thing the revolution is on its way!

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