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How To Understand The TikTok Algorithm

how to understand the tiktok algorithm

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Let’s set the scene. You’re scrolling through TikTok and stumble upon a video of people on a cruise; sailing through the treacherous Drake Passage. You may ask yourself, how did I get onto the Antarctica cruise ship side of TikTok? Why did this go viral? Should I go on a cruise?

While we can’t advise on your future vacation plans, we can help unpack how the algorithm works to better your understanding of the platform. According to TikTok, the algorithm pushes videos onto the  ‘For You Page’ based on a “recommendation system that delivers content to each user likely to be of interest to that particular user”. Each FYP is unique to that user and no two are the same. 

What Makes A “FYP”?

Many factors contribute to the videos you see on your feed. TikTok recommends videos based on your interactions: liking, sharing, following, commenting, and content creation. Additionally, the information from the videos themselves: captions, sounds, hashtags, and more. 

The TikTok algorithm is powered by machine learning technology, which means that it’s constantly learning and adapting based on user behavior. Every time a user interacts with the app – whether it’s watching a video, liking, commenting, or sharing – the algorithm takes note of that behavior and uses it to tailor the user’s feed.

Engagement Rate

The algorithm also takes into account a video’s engagement rate, which is the number of likes, comments, and shares it receives. The more engagement a video gets, the higher its chances of being shown to a wider audience. This is why content creators need to make videos that are engaging and interactive, as it can increase the chances of their videos going viral.

Completion Rate

Another factor that the TikTok algorithm considers is the completion rate of a video. If users watch a video until the end, it’s a good indicator that the video is interesting and worth sharing. As a result, the algorithm is more likely to show it to a wider audience. This means that content creators should focus on creating captivating videos from start to finish to keep users engaged and increase their chances of going viral.

Fresh Content

The TikTok algorithm prioritizes fresh content. If a video is new and hasn’t been seen by many people, it’s more likely to be shown to a wider audience. This means that content creators should be consistently uploading new and fresh content to increase their visibility on the app. 

Additionally, it takes into account videos you skip, mark as “not interested” or skip through. Follower count or previously high-preforming videos do not contribute to the algorithm. 

Tips To Improve Your TikTok Performance

If you’re looking for ways to perform better on the app, check out these tips:

  1. Create a Hook: Grab your audience’s attention in the first few seconds of your video with something interesting, surprising, or thought-provoking. This will encourage them to keep watching and increase your chances of going viral.
  2. Find your Niche: Find a specific topic that you’re passionate about and create content around it. This will help you attract a dedicated audience and increase engagement on your videos.
  3. Use Trending TikTok Audio: Incorporating trending TikTok sounds and music into your videos can increase your chances of being featured on the “For You” page, as the algorithm tends to promote content that uses popular audio.
  4. Use Hashtags: Including relevant hashtags in your video description can help the algorithm categorize your content and show it to people who are interested in your niche.
  5. Make Accessibility a Priority: Make sure your videos are easy to understand and accessible to a wide range of viewers. This includes adding captions and making sure your content is appropriate for all ages.
  6. Use optimal posting time: Experiment with different posting times to see when your audience is most active and engaged. Use the creator tool features to monitor this data and post accordingly. This can help increase engagement and boost your performance on the app.
  7. Video Length Matters: Try creating videos of different lengths to see what works best for your audience and your niche. Some niches may perform better with shorter videos, while others may require longer-form content.
  8. Engage with the Community: Interacting with other creators in your niche can help you build a community on the app and increase your chances of being featured in collaborative videos.
  9. Keep Your Videos Up!: The TikTok algorithm takes into account the overall performance of your account, so deleting old videos can harm your account’s performance. Instead, focus on creating new content and improving your overall performance on the app.
  10. Use the In-app Features: TikTok frequently introduces new features and tools for creators, so don’t be afraid to try them out and see what works best for you and your content. A personal favorite is a green screen.

In conclusion, the TikTok algorithm is complex and constantly evolving, but by following these 10 tips, you can improve your chances of beating the algorithm and achieving growth on the app. 

Remember to focus on creating engaging and accessible content, experimenting with new features and video lengths, and engaging with your audience and other creators in your niche. By doing so, you can increase your visibility on the app, build a dedicated community of followers, and ultimately, achieve success on TikTok.

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