The TikTok Algorithm Explained

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TikTok’s algorithm serves content to users based on what it believes is of high interest to them. It integrates a combination of factors to rank the best content for each user. Due to the complexity of the TikTok algorithm, multiple factors influence how your content appears on the platform.

  • User activity is the number one factor

TikTok videos that receive more engagement and views are more likely to be shown to a wider audience

  • Content matter is also important

With TikTok, content is categorized based on user interests, so content matter plays a major role in reaching potential users.

  • Language and Location

Your current location and language preference also contribute to the algorithm’s equation on the content that it chooses to serve users.

  • Trending Audio

Videos that feature trending music or sounds will be categorized by the algorithm and served to relevant audiences.

Reaching new audiences is easy by tapping into trending audio, as the algorithm will serve your video to those who are already following the trend.

  • User’s feedback

You can use the “Not Interested” tool to tell the TikTok algorithm what you dislike. The algorithm also identifies which videos you are skipping and which users you are choosing to hide.

All of the above-mentioned factors allow TikTok’s algorithm to identify the best content available for you and your audience. However, some factors, such as the number of followers or the performance of previous content do not influence how TikTok will rank your content.

This means that anyone can hit the viral video “jackpot” disregarding the number of followers and previous quality of the content.

How to use the TikTok algorithm to your advantage?

  • The quick hook

TikTok in general prefers videos that have an effortless loop, and tend to catch the eye even of users with little attention span. As a result, you should try to grasp your audience’s attention within the first few seconds of your video. Keep in mind that today’s generations are very impatient and are in search of the quickest entertainment fix possible. If they don’t like your video in the first four seconds, they are going to “swipe” you.

  • Choose your niche carefully

If you want to take the best advantage of TikTok’s algorithm you should try to stay consistent with a certain niche. This way you help the algorithm recognize your prowess in the field and start to distribute your content to the right viewers. After choosing the best niche for you, try to implement the right keywords into your captions and video content, as this will also boost your videos in the platform’s distribution.

  • Use trending hashtags

Just like with other social media platforms, hashtags will help you categorize your videos and simplify the process of searching for your audience.

  • Timing is key

Posting your content at the right time is also a crucial factor for your video to be picked up by the algorithm and best served your audience. Every time you post a video, you should think if your community is online or already asleep, or are busy in the office.  The is not a specific formula for you to determine the best time to upload your videos. Mostly it will depend on your viewer’s location and smartphone habits.

  • Shorter videos have a better success rate

TikTok used to allow a maximum of 15-second videos at first, then slowly increased the limit up to 10 minutes in length. However, nobody has the patience to go over a 10-minute content, most people are in search of a quick entertainment fix. So it is best to aim for shorter videos between 10 and 30 seconds. Nevertheless, if you are a more detailed oriented person, and wish to provide deep more content-rich videos, you are always welcome to give it a try, and see how it fares.