Written byMackenzie Taylor
Posted 2 months ago
TikTok has gained immense popularity in the social media sphere, with over 3 billion downloads and millions of active users every day. A large part of its popularity is due to its intelligent algorithm, which is designed to quickly deduce the type of content users wish to see in order to produce top-quality recommendations.
We’re all aware of the existence of social media algorithms, but how do they actually work? Learning how an algorithm function is the first step towards beating the platform and getting your videos to go viral. Break down the factors that affect an algorithm, and use a social media management tool like Flick to help you grow your account.
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What Is The TikTok Algorithm?
The TikTok algorithm is an intelligent system that recommends videos for users based on their individual account activity. TikTok has a “For You” page, which is full of recommended content the algorithm thinks users will enjoy. The purpose of the algorithm is to keep users on the platform by giving them easy access to entertaining videos.
The TikTok algorithm aims to customize a user’s experience by catering to their video preferences, whether that be subject matter, such as animals, or language. As users continue scrolling through the platform, the TikTok algorithm will adapt to any changes in behavior by altering the type of content it recommends.
For example, if a user views a lot of cooking videos, the algorithm will begin recommending more videos in that niche. The algorithm will also learn what type of videos to not show based on a user’s activity. For example, if a user always skips make-up tutorials, the algorithm will stop recommending those types of videos.
Why Is The TikTok Algorithm Important?
TikTok places a great deal of importance on its algorithm and makes changes to it constantly in order to improve its functionality. The algorithm is an essential part of the platform for the following reasons:
Improve Your TikTok Strategy
Learning how the TikTok algorithm works can greatly improve your social media strategy. You can make content that pleases the algorithm, which increases your chances of going viral. The algorithm even takes into account search suggestions, so you can devise a strategy to help you rank on TikTok searches.
Gets Your Videos Recommended
The TikTok algorithm can get your videos on people’s homepages by recommending them. This allows people to naturally discover your videos, which can help you grow your following.
Increases Online Engagement
The TikTok algorithm helps boost your online engagement by exposing your videos to a wider audience, regardless of whether they follow you. The algorithm doesn’t take into account your followers or previous videos, so even new users can benefit from the exposure.
How To Break Down The TikTok Algorithm
Now it’s time to look into how the TikTok algorithm actually works, so you know how to beat the system.
Factors That Affect The TikTok Algorithm
First of all, you have to look into factors that affect the algorithm’s behavior. The TikTok algorithm changes based on a number of factors:
This refers to how users interact with videos. The TikTok algorithm updates itself largely based on how users engage with different content. The more positive engagement a video receives, the more likely it is to get recommended by the algorithm.
User activity includes:
- Watch Length
User activity can also include someone’s own posted content. The algorithm looks at the type of content user posts to deduce their interests and recommends videos based on that information.
This refers to the actual content of a video. The TikTok algorithm identifies video subject matters in order to sort them into different niches. This helps the algorithm recommend videos based on user interests.
Video details include:
- Video Effects
The TikTok algorithm detects a user’s device settings in order to deduce what kind of content they prefer.
Device settings include:
- Type of Device (smartphone, desktop, or tablet)
TikTok is known for its trending songs, which are often used in videos on the platform. The TikTok algorithm uses video audio to identify trends and recommend them to suitable audiences. This is a great way of boosting your engagement and reach.
Feedback On Recommendations
The TikTok algorithm pays attention to feedback from users in regard to their recommendations. Whenever you skip a video or mark a video as “not interested,” TikTok takes note of this and is less likely to recommend this content again.
Factors Don’t Affect The TikTok Algorithm
Now it’s time to learn what doesn’t affect the algorithm. Other than your follower count, the TikTok algorithm also ignores your previous videos’ performances. Even if you have videos that performed well in the past, the algorithm won’t take that into account when making recommendations.
What Type Of Content The TikTok Algorithm Won’t Recommend
Finally, you have to look into what type of videos the TikTok algorithm will refuse to recommend.
The TikTok algorithm will not recommend videos that are deemed unsafe based on content guidelines. Every social media platform has rules about inappropriate content being shown to younger audiences. In order to ensure the safety of their users, the TikTok algorithm is programmed to avoid content that could possibly offend viewers.
Some of this content is allowed on the platform because they don’t actually break any guidelines, but those that do are flagged and taken down from the platform.
Examples of unsafe content include:
- Dangerous Stunts
- Drugs (Tobacco/Alcohol)
- Violence or Graphic Content
- Sexual Content
- Harmful Acts or Challenges
In order to avoid displeasing the TikTok algorithm, it’s best to steer clear of these topics. You want to make your content accessible to as wide an audience as possible to go viral.
The TikTok algorithm aims to always keep your recommendations fresh by avoiding videos you’ve already watched.
How To Beat The TikTok Algorithm
Now that you’ve broken down the TikTok algorithm and learned how it works, it’s time to use that information to beat the system. Here are some tips for working with the algorithm to get your videos recommended. You mainly have to focus on improving your video engagement in order to capture the algorithm’s attention.
Capture Your Audience Instantly
TikTok users have a lot of content to go through, so they usually judge videos based on the first few seconds. You have to be able to entice your audience instantly in order to keep them watching. The TikTok algorithm is affected by watch time, so you want users to view your video entirely instead of skipping past it.
Following TikTok trends is a great way of appealing to the algorithm. If users are constantly watching trends, the algorithm will recommend similar videos to them. Follow trends in your videos to increase the chances of getting recommended. You can hop on a trend by using trending TikTok sounds or popular hashtags.
Make Your Videos Visually Appealing
Attract viewers with eye-catching visuals. Use attractive or interesting thumbnails — you can even include a compelling caption to give viewers an idea of the subject matter. Make the text neat and bold for easy reading.
Ensure you’re using high-quality video footage and clean edits to enhance the viewing experience.
Create Accessible Content
Make your content accessible to a larger audience by avoiding harmful topics and adding captions/text for the hearing-impaired. The algorithm will be able to recommend your videos to more users.
Interact With Creators In Your Niche
Interact with other TikTok creators in your niche by commenting on their videos and creating stitches or duets using their content. This makes you visible to their audience and increases your engagement.
Post When User-Activity Is High
Post when activity is high on TikTok to increase your engagement rate. The more viewers that are active when you post, the more likely your videos will be seen. You can use tools like Flick to find the best time to post, ensuring your content reaches your audience effectively.
Keep Your Videos Short & Snappy
Keep your TikTok videos short and to the point. Viewers want to know right away what your video is about so don’t waffle on. Retain your audience’s attention by staying on topic and don’t include moments where nothing is happening. You don’t want viewers to get bored at any point.
How To Change The TikTok Algorithm
Change the type of videos you engage with. Make sure to watch these videos to completion and rewatch the ones you particularly enjoy. Like, share, and comment on those videos. The algorithm also pays attention to the accounts you follow, so follow some new accounts or unfollow your current ones.
Change your recommendations by marking videos you don’t like as ‘not interested’. This will stop the algorithm from recommending more of the same kind of videos.
The TikTok algorithm is affected by a number of factors, including user activity, subject matter, and audio. Videos are mainly recommended based on their engagement and niche. The algorithm strives to suggest videos that align with user interests, deduced through monitoring watch times and interactions, such as likes and follows.
In order to beat the TikTok algorithm, you must focus on increasing your engagement rate and audience reach. Capture people’s attention with a great hook, and post during high-activity hours for maximum exposure. You can find the best time to post using tools like Flick.
We provide social media analytics and help schedule your content to make growing your audience that much easier. Join Flick for free today to start improving your social media account.
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