If you want to become famous on TikTok (and who doesn’t!?), even more important than following TikTok trends is understanding the algorithm.
Now, just the word “algorithm” sounds boring and I would be surprised if you actually know what it is and how to put it to your advantage.
So if you’re normal and have no idea how TikTok algorithm works, you’re in the right place.
Table of Contents
What Is Tik Tok Algorithm?
TikTok algorithm is a “hidden” set of in-app rules, not visible to a regular user, that determines how well each user’s videos will rank and show on others’ For You page.
It is basically a recommendation system, which controls what types of videos will pop up on For You page.
So, when you show preference towards a certain type of video, TikTok’s algorithm will recognize that and recommend you more videos similar to your taste.
Have you ever felt that TikTok can read your mind and feelings?
Yeah, me too. Well, the algorithm picks up on your searches very quickly and turns them into interests that it later on uses to show you more content of the same type.
Say, you’re on a diet and craving some juicy doughnuts. So you watch videos of sweet sweets hoping that it will satisfy your cravings, right?
Well, TikTok then picks this as your interest and shows you more and more videos of sweet sweets and juicy doughnuts.
How do you find the videos related to your interests on TikTok that algorithm later uses to show you more similar videos? Hashtags!
How do you use TikTok algorithm to your advantage so that your videos pop up on other people’s For You Page? Relevant HASHTAGS!
How Does the Algorithm Work?
Social media platforms don’t usually reveal how their algorithms work.
However, due to the increased media pressure and concerns for privacy, a lot of social networks have revealed their algorithm secrets.
Although algorithms should be kept secret because they make social media unique, it is good to know how the TikTok algorithm works if you want to grow big.
The TikTok algorithm is mostly based on the following:
1. User interactions
User interactions are based on you watching other people’s TikTok videos.
Simply speaking, the TikTok algorithm “notices” what you like to watch or whom you follow, and organizes your feed according to your interests.
The following data and actions help the TikTok algorithm recognize what you like:
- The nature of accounts you follow
- The nature of accounts you unfollow or hide
- Comments you have made on TikTok videos
- Content you have made on your TikTok profile
- Videos you have liked
- Videos you have shared
- Videos you have marked as improper
- Videos you have labelled as “Not interested”
- Videos you have saved as favourites
- Video completion rate (videos that you watch to the end)
2. Information about videos
The video information is based on your search preferences on the Discover tab.
The following details are included in this aspect of the algorithm’s working:
- Relevant hashtags
- Soundtracks and sounds
3. Device and account settings
This might not be the most important part of the algorithm but they are still somewhat important because TikTok recommends videos based on your location and preferred language.
Account and device settings that contribute to the TikTok algorithm:
- Location (mostly, you get to see TikTok creators from the same country as yours)
- Language preference
- Categories into which you have shown interest
- Mobile phone type
4. Level of interest – strong and weak indicators
Each user has a unique For You page or feed that is based on the user interest.
There are some strong and some weak indicators.
The strongest indicator is your video completion rate that is based on how many TikTok users have finished watching a video from start to finish.
Or in simple words – watch a video from start to finish and TikTok will understand that you like that type of content.
The more people have watched it until the end, the more popular the video will get.
4. Number of followers (IS NOT IMPORTANT)
For a long time, there was an understanding that only a TikTok user with a high number of followers can appear on For you page.
But, TikTok has recently denied that.
Sure, if you have more followers, you will have a stronger base for more views, but that doesn’t rule out smaller accounts with high-quality content whose videos people watch to the fullest.
So no matter the number of followers, you have a chance to get on the FYP and make algorithm love you.
How to Use the Algorithm to Your Advantage
There are so many steps and rules to becoming popular on TikTok or going viral, but I’m gonna talk a bit about how you can use the algorithm to make your videos more popular.
Well, knowing how the algorithm functions can help but it doesn’t work without you.
1. Find your niche
What you want to do is find that one niche that will define you and post content exclusively (or mostly) related to that topic.
Well, if TikTok understands that you’re posting, say, tips for cleaning the house, and someone watches some other account’s housecleaning tips, the algorithm will understand that this is that person’s interest and show other similar videos.
At the same time, it will understand that this is your expertise, so who better to put on that person’s FYP that an expert – yourself.
2. Use relevant hashtags
How do you find new videos on TikTok?
You search the term and new related videos just pop up like magic?
Not magic – hashtags.
And that’s why you want to use only relevant hashtags on your videos.
If your video is about plant care but you put “#baking” hashtag, the person who searches for baking tips and comes across your video won’t watch it for 2 seconds, and this will give a signal to the Tik Tok algorithm that people are not interested in your video resulting in it never getting to anyone’s FYP.
3. Use trends
People like to stay on top of things, and in the social media world, that’s done through trends.
So if you come across one video that follows a certain trend, you watch it, you “like” it, more similar videos will show.
And if it is someone else watching and liking a video that follows a certain trend, and you are the person who also has a video related to that same trend, the chances are, your video will find its way to the person who already watched similar videos.
4. Use subtitles
Accessibility has always been extremely important, but lately even more so.
If you want the algorithm to love you and your content, you want to make it accessible. And the best way to do so is through regular use of subtitles.
This will make your videos understandable to people with hearing impairments, but it will also make it understandable to those who are currently not in a position to turn on the sound.
Better understanding = longer watch time = more love from the Tik Tok algorithm algorithm.
5. Interact with the viewers
One more way to make the algorithm love you is to interact with your audience.
No one likes to have a one sided conversation, so if others comment on your videos, comment back! This will make your viewers feel like you’re really making content for them, which will make them come back, which will put you in Tik Tok algorithm’s favor.
TikTok algorithm and its secret working might sound boring, but when you know how to use it to your advantage, it can be even fun to invest some time into learning the basics.
In short, algorithm is a set of hidden rules that TikTok uses for creating your unique FYP, and once you learn what makes your videos more visible, the success on this platform is almost guaranteed!