Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube have their own algorithms. So does TikTok.
If you want to succeed in TikTok, you should understand how the app works.
Here are the basics of TikTok’s algorithm.
1. When a video is uploaded, TikTok will randomly show it to 100–500 users between popular videos. This way, it can evaluate if the video gets attention.
Those users may or may not follow the creator already, but TikTok has determined they may be more likely to engage with the video, based on their past behaviors.
2. The algorithm then measures how much of the video is actually watched and how many likes, comments, shares, and downloads it receives. After watching the video, it measures how many people follow the creator or use the audio from the video to create a new one.
3. The algorithm will use the velocity of the engagement to score the video. If the video receives about 20% more likes in a single day or the completion rate (the percentage of the video watched) is over 60%, then it’ll be pushed out to more people. In other words, the video will be recommended in the For You page.
If the engagement rate is low, the video will be shown to a few users, limiting its potential reach.
Also, TikTok considers the following elements to identify what kinds of videos its users want to see:
The type of device, language preference, and negative feedback on a video.
Whether users are in the same country as the creator who posted a video.
Song clips, hashtags, and captions. The algorithm looks at these elements to categorize videos and then recommends more similar videos. That’s why your For You page may include videos within the same sounds.
It should be noted that if you already have a lot of following on TikTok, your video can still get more views without depending much on the criteria above.
One of my friends once posted a video showing how to sew a hat. It got over 5,000 views after just ten minutes of being uploaded, simply because she has more than two million followers.