This is How the TikTok Algorithm Works

This is How the TikTok Algorithm Works

The TikTok algorithm may seem complex and mysterious — but TikTok has (finally!) revealed exactly how it works!

From what hashtags you use, to your location, music choices, and even the very first TikTok video you liked — they can all influence the TikTok algorithm.

Which is some serious intel for brands and businesses looking to get more engagement on their TikTok content.

In this blog post, we’re sharing everything we know about the TikTok algorithm and how you can start using it your advantage:

How the TikTok Algorithm Works (According to TikTok Themselves!) 

TikTok has finally lifted the veil on how the algorithm works, putting an end to months of rumors and speculation.

In a recent press statement, TikTok shared exactly how the #ForYou feed is calibrated and personalized to each account.

So before we jump into the nitty-gritty details of the TikTok algorithm, here’s what we know to be true — straight from TikTok HQ!

What Factors Contribute to TikTok’s For You Page Video Suggestions?

If you’ve scrolled TikTok, you’ll know that the For You page is the best place to go to find the best new content.

Previously, we could only make assumptions that the For You page appeared to be a curated feed, pulling videos that are related to your profile, location, and similar to videos you’ve already liked and engaged with.

But now, we have some concrete facts from TikTok on how the For You page reflects preferences unique to each user.

According to TikTok: “The system recommends content by ranking videos based on a combination of factors — starting from interests you express as a new user and adjusting for things you indicate you’re not interested in, too”.

These factors include things like:

  1. User interactions: such as the videos you like or share, accounts you follow, comments you post, and content you create.
  2. Video information: this might include details like captions, sounds, and hashtags.
  3. Device and account settings: like your language preference, country setting, and device type.

And it doesn’t stop there.

Each of these factors is individually weighted by the TikTok’s For You recommendation system, meaning that each For You page will be completely unique to a user and their level of interest.

For example, TikTok explains that a strong indicator of interest could be if a user finishes watching a longer video from beginning to end.

This would receive greater weight than a weak indicator, such as whether the video’s viewer and creator are both in the same country.

From these “indicators of interest,” For You page videos are then ranked based on the likelihood of a user’s interest in a piece of content.

But what about the age-old question of “do I need thousands of followers to go viral?”. In short, the answer is no.

TikTok explained that while a video is likely to receive more views if posted by an account that has more followers (by virtue of having a larger follower base), “neither follower count nor whether the account has had previous high-performing videos are direct factors in the recommendation system.” 

Check out @kei.honey‘s viral post below. With just over 40K followers, Kei’s educational video to support the Black Lives Matter movement gained over 1.2M views and 360K likes (at the time of publishing this blog post).

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So even if you have zero followers, and have never posted to TikTok before, there’s still an opportunity for your video to appear in the For You page of other users!

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