Expand Your Knowledge

Explaining TikTok Engineering to a 10-Year-Old

Imagine a big party 🎉. 

 There are way more guests (viewers) than hosts (content creators), maybe a 100 guests for every host! 🙋♀️🙋♂️:👥👥👥👥👥

Now, when a host (creator) shares a video, it starts a journey 🎥🚀.

It first arrives at a special checkpoint called the 'upload API'. 

 From there, it's off to the 'feature engineering' department. 

 Here, smart robots 🤖 (machine learning algorithms) examine the video carefully.

They check out the images, sounds, and other details to understand the video as best as they can! 🧐 

 During this process, if the video is a 30-second one, it's divided into 4 equal parts, like cutting a cake 🍰.

But if it's a 10-second video, it passes through without any cuts. 

Each piece of this 'video cake' then undergoes 4 major changes:

➡ It's transformed into different digital languages (formats). 🌐 

 ➡ Each slice is made into different sizes (resolutions). 🔍 

➡ One slice magically multiplies into 8 to 16 identical slices! 🧩

➡ Finally, all these slices are packed and stored in a magic box called Amazon S3 buckets. 📦

These magic boxes (Amazon S3 buckets) hold all the different sized pieces of our video cake. 

The boxes are sent around the world, according to where our party guests (users) are! 🌎

TikTok's special delivery system, a 'CDN' named Akamai, ensures every guest gets their piece of cake, even if their local delivery service is having a day off. 🚚🚀

Now, when you (the user) want to see a specific video, TikTok's clever system checks who you are, what video you want, and delivers it to you from the nearest location.  

And if that place is closed? No worries! The video is delivered from the next available location. 🏪🔄 

So, that's the magical journey of a TikTok video!

Pretty awesome, right? 😄💫
Thanks for your support, let's keep learning together!