TikTok Announces Opiate-Based User Retention Strategy

Written by: Aaron Sonin

“I can’t believe my friends just take whatever drugs companies push on them,” said one conference attendee, taking a hit from their Juul.
Photo by Connor Betterly

Last Tuesday, TikTok CEO Dayda Broker took to the stage at an investors’ conference to announce the social media giant’s new strategy to increase watch time on the platform. “The average TikTok user spends four hours on the platform every day,” began Broker, walking on stage wearing a blue turtleneck. “Seeing as the typical person is awake for 16 hours every day, that’s a lot of time we’re missing out on.” Broker went on to explain that despite adding integrated shopping, improving the algorithm, and gluing phones to users’ hands, the platform has been unable to increase watch time. “Watch time is an incredibly important metric for us,” Broker continued. “It means that our users are creating engaging content, connecting with their communities more, and generating sweet, sweet data for us to sell to the highest bidder.”

Broker went on to ann­ounce the company’s new strategy for ensuring that users stay on the platform for as long as possible. “We thought to ourselves: what else could users possibly want? What could possibly be more rewarding than scrolling through an endless sea of robot-narrated Reddit posts cur­ated specifically for you?” he said. “And then one day, after watching one of the unpaid interns pour their fifth coffee of the afternoon, it hit me. We need to reward our users with small doses of psychoactive chemicals.” Broker reached into his pocket and pulled out a small device resembling a cell phone with an IV attached. “I’m proud to introduce our newest innovation: TikTok Morphine.” The audience responded with raucous app­lause and cheering.

In order to illustrate how this new technology would function, Broker performed an onstage demonstration. “After extensive focus group testing, we determined that our younger users are the best candidates for this new technology,” he stated while walking his 16-year-old daughter, Eve, onstage. “TikTok Morphine is incredibly simple to operate,” explained Broker, inserting the IV into his daughter’s arm. “All the user has to do is equip the device, and our proprietary AI algorithm will supply a dosage of morphine as they watch. A larger dose will be dispensed every time a video is liked, and should the user choose to leave the app, the authorities will be immediately notified that the user illegally possesses narcotics.”

When asked about the safety of the device for children, Broker responded, “Of course, the safety of our younger users is of the utmost importance.” He then explained that TikTok Morphine has a built-in parental control feature that will allow parents to limit their child’s dosage by logging into the app, downloading and filling out the 37-page opt-out form, having it notarized, mailing it in, and waiting five to seven business weeks. “Besides,” explained Broker, “nobody under the age of 13 can use the app anyway, since we made them check a box saying they were old enough when they signed up. And, as we all know, teenagers are more than capable of making informed decisions on their opiate intake.”

Web Editor at The MQ

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