The Yellow Eye Icon on TikTok Carries a Specific Meaning — but Some Folks Aren't Happy About It


Jan. 19 2024, Published 11:11 a.m. ET

The iconography of TikTok, and of social media platforms more generally, is designed to be as intuitive as possible. Hearts stand in for likes, an arrow typically refers to share, etc. Sometimes, though, a new icon emerges on a platform and leaves even die-hard users baffled, and that's exactly what's happened with the introduction of one icon on TikTok.

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The icon is a yellow eye, and you typically only see it if you're checking on who liked your post. TikTok has added the icon in order to give users more information, but many users have found themselves perplexed by it. Here's what the yellow eye means on TikTok.

TikTok logo on a white screen.
Source: Getty Images
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What does the yellow eye mean on TikTok?

The yellow/orange eye should appear next to certain accounts on TikTok when a user checks to see who liked their video. If the person liked your video, you should see a heart next to their profile picture. If you see a yellow eye next to their name, though, that means that they watched the entire video, but didn't like it at the end. Essentially, then, TikTok is giving you a list both of users who liked your video and of users who just watched it all the way through.

This information may cause as many problem as it solves, as some users seem likely to resent anyone who watched their video all the way through without liking it. Still, the symbol offers valuable information about users, indicating that they were at least captivated enough by whatever you made to watch it all the way through, even if they didn't give you the satisfaction of a like at the end.

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TikTok users who learned what the yellow eye feature meant were mad at their followers.

Although many users were initially confused by the introduction of the yellow eye, once they learned what it meant, many of them were upset at their followers for not giving them a like.

"Apparently you get views but WHERE'S THE LOVE Y'ALL," one person wrote on their TikTok video.

Of course, TikTok users are under no obligation to give videos a like, but those likes certainly boost the users who receive them in the overall TikTok algorithm.

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TikTok is always updating the app with new features.

If you're a regular TikTok user, you're likely aware that the app is always releasing new features that users can play with, and also other updates designed to make the experience better. The yellow eye is really designed to offer new information, but some features are simply new features or new ways to make videos that you can play with.

Those features and what they do may not always be readily apparent to users of the app, but TikTok works hard to make sure that even if you don't know what a new icon or feature does, you can still use the app with no issues. The yellow eyes may have been confusing to some users, but they definitely didn't break the app.

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