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The TikTok algorithm is a fuel designed to serve users content on the highly addictive app’s homepage called the For You Page (FYP). In other words, the TikTok algorithm is an exclusive set of signals that determines what content will appear on each TikTok user’s customized For You Page.
This article will discuss everything, like what the TikTok algorithm is, how it works, and how to hack it or go viral on TikTok. So, let’s get straight into it.
What is TikTok Algorithm?
The TikTok algorithm is a complex recommendation system that determines content ranking, showing which content will appear on your TikTok For You Page. This ranking system is based on factors such as your interests or engagement as a new user on this platform.
No two TikTok users will see the same short videos on their For You page, and the videos you see will change over time based on your viewing priorities and your current state of mind.
According to TikTok itself, the TikTok For You Page algorithm is “a stream of videos curated according to your interests, making it easy for you to search content and creators of your choice… it is powered by recommendation system that brings content for each TikTok user that is more likely to be of interest to that specific user.”
The algorithm prioritizes those videos you have interacted with, accounts and hashtags you follow, your current location, languages you prefer, and even the basis of content you create.
Therefore, instead of being loaded with the videos of people you follow, your FYP contains videos that TikTok’ algorithm thinks you will enjoy.
How Does the TikTok Algorithm Works?
The algorithm of any social media platform is the main thing social networks use to draw us in and keep us paying interest. The same is the case with the TikTok algorithm, which does not want spammers and other hidden characters to be able to change the algorithm to get more engagement than they deserve.
As people have become more skeptical and curious about the working of social networks, most social media platforms have revealed the basic working of their algorithms. Similarly, TikTok also has revealed the working of its algorithm. Multiple factors influence how does TikTok algorithm work. These factors include user activity, video information, device settings, audio, and “Not Interested” feedback.
Let’s discuss them one by one.
1. User Activity
Like the Instagram algorithm, the TikTok algorithm ranks recommendations based on user activity or interactions while using the app. User interaction clues what kind of content a user likes or dislikes. The For You page recommends content by considering the following factors.
- The account you follow
- Comments you make
- Content from creators or sounds you have decided to hide
- Videos you like and share
- Videos you have saved as favorites
- Videos you mark as “Not Interested.”
- Videos you report
- Video completion rate
- The content you create by yourself
- Your interest in organic content and ads
2. Video Information or Subject Matter
The TikTok app is brilliant at categorizing content based on user interaction. This way, video information or subject matter is a key factor determining the reach potential of your videos on the app.
TikTok determines video information through the following:
- Captions Keywords
- Video description
3. User’s Device and Account Settings
There are account settings that TikTok uses to optimize video performance. However, these are based on one-time settings choices rather than user activity; these settings don’t significantly influence the platform as user interaction and video information signals have.
Some of the account and device settings that the TikTok algorithm considers include:
- Language preferences
- A location like a country setting
- Type of device or mobile used
- Categories of your interest that you select when a new user
Factors Having No Specific Influence on TikTok Algorithm
There are a few factors that don’t influence the working of the TikTok algorithm that ranks your content.
These factors are:
- Your follower count
- Whether your previous videos have performed well or not
If you have a low follower count or have never posted on TikTok, there is still a great opportunity for you to go viral on this social media platform.
Types of Content that the TikTok Algorithm Would Not Recommend
The TikTok Algorithm will not recommend you the following types of content:
- Duplicated content
- Content that you have already seen
- Spamming content
- Potentially upsetting content like graphic medical procedures
- Tobacco and alcohol products
- Overtly sexualized content
- Low-quality or QR code content
- Content marked as “Not Interested.”
Tips for Getting Picked By The TikTok Algorithm or How to Go Viral On TikTok?
1. Hook Your Target Audience in the First Three Seconds
Since watching a video in full indicates your interest, The TikTok algorithm favors videos that are easy to digest, have a seamless loop, and provide user entertainment who have a short attention span. Due to this, it is vital to hook your target audience within the first three seconds of your videos. Videos with intriguing hook points are more likely to watch by people till the end or even on repeat. This type of engagement signals the algorithm that people love the content. Therefore, it should be shared with more users.
2. Focus on a Particular Niche
When you consistently make or share videos related to your niche, the TikTok algorithm will judge your expertise and recommend your content to the right audience. Consider content themes that resonate with your target audiences, such as a comedy sketch, beauty tutorial or GRWMs. After selecting a specific niche, add related keywords and provide the algorithm with everything it needs to recognize your content.
3. Find Your Subculture or Existing Community
Finding your existing community is vital to engage on social media platforms and TikTok; it is the most important step. Unlike other social media platforms where users spend much of their time on the accounts they follow, TikTokers spend most of their time on FYP, and 70% of them consider themselves a part of the community. Therefore, when you tap into the existing community, the algorithm will amplify you to the right audience.
4. Optimize for Search
TikTok SEO is the new catchword, and the TL: DR requires you to make content having related keywords and hashtags that users are looking to search for. If your content meets the required criteria, more people will see it who are searching for specific content on this platform. You can use captions having 2200 characters, giving you room to work with trending keywords that boost your TikTok SEO.
5. Create High-Quality Content
Creating high-quality content increases the chances of getting picked by the TikTok algorithm. To create attractive videos, use decent lighting, a good microphone to record audio, add transitions, videos should be longer than 10 seconds, design your videos, and add beautiful audio songs. This way, the algorithm will surely recommend your videos to a higher audience.
6. Use Relevant Hashtags
Like Instagram, using relevant hashtags on TikTok helps the algorithm categorize your content and make it easy for users to search for the content. Thus, use relevant hashtags as they indicate algorithm what your content is about.
For example, if you are a marketing consultant, you can use hashtags like #socialmediamarketing or #smmtips.
7. Engage with Other TikTok Users
Social media means being social; therefore, engaging actively with other users of your niche is important. You can do this by commenting on their posts, replying, and conversing with them. Doing this increases engagement and allows the algorithm to rank you higher.
8. Post Your Videos at the Best Time
There is no universal time to post your videos on TikTok; however, posting at the right time when most of your community is active is vital to increase your ranking. You will reach more people, and the TikTok algorithm will recommend your videos to a greater audience.
Ultimately, there is no guaranteed way to take over the TikTok algorithm. However, when you know what is the TikTok algorithm, how it works and follow the right tips to get picked or go viral on TikTok, your chances of being on the top increase. Thus, be consistent and build a strong presence on the platform to hack the algorithm. This will do wonders for you, especially if you use TikTok for business.
Why is the TikTok algorithm so efficient?
The TikTok algorithm is good because it helps you recognize personal preferences and ensures the feed is varied and entertaining.
How does the TikTok algorithm decide what videos will go viral?
When your video gets views between 250,000 to 1 million, it is considered viral on TikTok.
How can you reset the TikTok algorithm?
There is no fix or official way to fix the TikTok algorithm, but there are a few steps that you can follow to change it. These steps include:
- Clear your cache
- Unfollow accounts that you no longer want to see content from
- Like the videos that you would prefer to see