How the TikTok Algorithm Works and Why It's Important
TikTok is a popular social media app that has become increasingly popular in the last few years. With over 400 million users, TikTok is one of the top apps on the iOS App Store and Google Play Store. But how does TikTok work? And why should you care about the TikTok algorithm?
In this guide, we'll cover what makes TikTok unique and why it's so popular with young people around the world. We'll also discuss how to use the algorithms behind it effectively so you can build an audience and grow your following on the platform. We’ll also show you how to create videos with our TikTok video editor. Let's get started!
TikTok is a video-sharing app that allows users to watch videos and create their own, usually with musical backing tracks. If you're new to the app, it might be a little baffling at first. After all, there are so many options available! But after spending some time on TikTok, you'll likely find yourself wondering why some of your favorite videos aren't showing up while others seem like they've been constantly in your feed. This happens because of an algorithm that determines what videos will be shown to you based on factors like popularity and views.
The algorithm used by TikTok is complex but precise—it uses over 200 variables in its calculations. These include things such as:
- engagement rates and user interactions
- geographic location of TikTok viewers
- frequency of publishing new content by the TikTok users themselves
- user age group demographics
- the video length
What makes the app so compelling is the highly tailored TikTok algorithm that powers the For You feed. And as a social media marketer, it is highly essential to know how the TikTok algorithm works.
Let’s take a closer look at the TikTok algorithm, explained through some key metrics TikTok creators have to follow!
The TikTok algorithm is based on a user's interactions with the app's content. Anything that provides information about the type of content the user prefers or dislikes can impact the algorithm (which accounts you follow, creators you’ve hidden, comments you’ve posted, etc.).
Video information signals are based on the content you frequently look for on the Discover tab, as opposed to user interaction signals, which are based on how you connect with other users on the app.
These details include hashtags, captions, sounds, effects, and other trending topics.
Device and Account Settings
The device and account settings also influence TikTok’s algorithm. They do not, however, have as much of an impact on what you see on the platform as user interaction and video information signals do because they are based on one-time configuration decisions rather than ongoing interactions. These variables include the language preference, type of mobile device, or the device registration country of a particular user.
Besides the metrics that create user value, there are also some practices that will bring no added value to your TikTok business account. The algorithm will NOT suggest the following kinds of content:
- Duplicated materials
- Content you've already seen
- Content marked as spam by the algorithm
- Potentially upsetting content
And now for the good news for all new users of TikTok or those who haven't yet amassed a sizable fan base. TikTok DOES NOT base recommendations on the number of followers an account has or on a history of popular videos. Therefore, if you create high quality videos, the odds are in your favor for going viral on TikTok!
Now that you know how TikTok works, it is time to move to a new challenge: how to boost TikTok views. If you are wondering how to grow on TikTok, we have a couple of tips that you might want to incorporate in your TikTok strategy.
Post on Popular Days and Times
In order to boost your TikTok user interactions, you need to post during days and hours where your content generates more engagement. Depending on what region you’re in and what audience you’re targeting, people are more likely to browse TikTok at certain times. You have to post according to those times in order to have better chances at getting views.
If you want to determine what those days are, just look at your previous videos’ performance! The app will show you the best days for posting based on your account's historical performance based on the high performing videos. This information is available through the Analytics menu in your profile settings.
Use the Right Hashtags
The power of hashtags is undeniable, and it comes as no surprise that they are a key element in your search for more user watches.
They help you find new users and get your content in front of more viewers, which can boost your TikTok following. So if you want to boost TikTok user interactions, it’s essential that you not only use the right hashtags but also know how to use them effectively. Here are some tips for finding the best hashtags for your videos:
Look at what others are using. If a video has a lot of likes and comments, check out its tags to see what people are engaging with most often. You can then test out similar tags on similar content in order to see whether they generate similar results for you as well!
You should also get creative with long and short-length phrases (the shorter ones tend longer). If someone searches “#tiktok” only one post will come up—and even then it won't necessarily be yours! Make sure that all parts of your text match exactly how someone might search on Google; so while two words may work well together within one phrase ("funny" + "video"), combining three words from different phrases ("funny videos" + "tiktok") might produce less results than something else entirely ("funny tiktok").
Create Timely Content
The best way to find out when people are most active on TikTok is by using a hashtag calendar. The calendar shows you the top hashtags of the day, week and month.
If you want to create content around an event or holiday, then it's better to use hashtags specific to that event/holiday rather than just using general hashtags like #musicvideo or #funnyvideo.
For example, if you want your video to get exposure during Halloween, then it would be better if you used a hashtag such as #Halloween instead of just #musicvideo or #funnyvideo.
Create a Hashtag Challenge
A hashtag challenge is a fun way to get more likes, comments, and followers. You can create a hashtag challenge for your brand or for a personal event.
For example, if you’re creating an Instagram post about your new product launch, you could ask people to use the hashtag #mynewproductlaunch in their posts about the launch so that you can see what they thought of it. This will give them something fun to do and might even help spread word-of-mouth recommendations about your product!
Use Trending Sounds
Each week, trending songs captivate the For You pages of TikTok users, therefore, if you use trending sounds, you have one more chance to go viral. To make your video more accessible, you can also add TikTok subtitles of your sounds to the video.
TIP: If you are talking in a video, and you don’t necessarily want to create a new sound with your voice, you can add a TikTok trending sound in the background and put it on mute. This way, you will be able to reach a higher audience.
Write Captivating Video Captions
Captions and written text are as captivating as video content, and they can also help you optimize performance. Therefore, when creating videos, it is recommended to write an engaging caption that accompanies your video.
To engage your target audience better, keep your caption short and straight to the point, but make sure it encapsulates your brand’s tone of voice.
Make Your Videos Shoppable
To boost your TikTok user interactions, you can make your videos shoppable. This means that when people watch one of your videos, they will see links to purchase the items you’re wearing or using in the video.
You have a couple options for doing this:
- Add links to your profile. The link should go to a page on your website where viewers can find more information about you and click through to buy products from there.
- Create a specific store page (e.g., “Store Name—Shop Now”) on TikTok so that people know exactly where they should go before watching any of your content—and also make it easy for them!
Add Links to Your Videos
You can add links to your videos, and they will be displayed in the video description. This is a great way to get more followers and likes on TikTok, as well as help drive traffic back to your website or social media profile.
You can also use links in your bio section, which appears below each of your videos.
Host a Giveaway
Hosting giveaways is an easy way to bring in more followers because it gives them an opportunity to win something without committing too much time or money. The chances of winning improve when there are more participants in each giveaway (this means more entries per user).
To encourage as many people as possible to enter the contest, we recommend holding multiple giveaways with different prizes over time rather than just one big contest at once—it'll build excitement while also boosting engagement on TikTok!
Now that you know how the TikTok algorithm works and how you can boost your TikTok videos, it is time to create video content! Thankfully, this can be done in just a few clicks with Flixier, our online video editor.
With Flixier, you can make captivating TikTok videos right in your browser using our TikTok editor. You only need to upload your videos, edit them, and publish the video—no downloads or installations are required. You can make incredible videos that engage your audience and grow your following with this feature-rich, simple-to-use, cloud-powered platform.
Here are the steps you need to take in order to edit your TikTok video:
Add Your Videos to Flixier
Using our direct integrations with Google Drive, YouTube, Twitch, Zoom, and other platforms, you can upload any video directly from your computer to your Flixier library. Any video file from your camera, phone, or computer is supported by Flixier, and you can even record using your webcam or microphone right in our editor.
In case you want to share a previously published video, don’t worry, you can import it while using our TikTok converter.
Edit Your Video
Choose a 9:16 aspect ratio from the top right of the screen to start making a TikTok video; this will make your video entirely compatible with TikTok.
Now that the timeline is open, you can drag and drop movies into it, arrange them however you like, add effects, animated text, music, or even automatically create subtitles with just a few clicks.
Download and Share Your Video
You can post your video whenever you're satisfied with the outcome. The Export button is located at the top right of the screen. From here, you may choose to download the file or instantly publish it to TikTok, YouTube, Google Drive, or Dropbox.
Follow Flixier on TikTok and learn more about the depths of this platform!