TikTok have managed to keep their algorithm, especially for the For You page, a secret.
Platforms like Instagram have been very transparent about their feed rankings. The same cannot be said of TikTok.
They have not bothered to verify any details about how their algorithm works.
However, the platform has been around for a while now. From observing personal first-hand experiences, you can get some valuable information about how the algorithm chooses what to show on the For You page of a specific user.
Here are 5 key insights about the algorithm.
Each Video’s Performance Determines Its Exposure
If you have been using TikTok, you’ll notice that people with barely any followers get millions of views. The TikTok algorithm seems to focus more on an individual video’s interactions and less on the profile as a whole.
When you publish a video, it will be shown to few users on their For You page, between popular videos. Just scroll your For You page and you’ll notice a video with hardly any likes.
So, if this video is well-received, TikTok will show it to more users.
The TikTok Algorithm Considers Multiple Indicators
Some of the indicators that are considered include likes, comments, shares, video completions and rewatches. For this reason, genuinely informative or entertaining videos have a high chance of doing well.
Geo-Location Determines Initial Exposure
TikTok videos are first shown to people in that geo-location. This is an observation. The location greatly influences the recommended videos on your For You page.
Small businesses can benefit from increased local brand awareness. And if your video is well received in your geo-location, it may be shown internationally.
Tending Sounds and Hashtags Help
If you want to increase your content’s discoverability, you need to put more thought into Sounds and hashtags.
Videos with trending hashtags in their caption have a high chance of being shown in Discovery pages. They may even be included in more For You pages.
At the moment, it is not clear which hashtags will have the biggest impact. But it is assumed that #foryoupage, #foryou and #fyp increase the likelihood of videos making it to more For You pages.
Other than using high traffic hashtags, you may want to include relevant hashtags as well, depending on your niche. The TikTok algorithm will understand your content better and show it to people who are interested.
In the same way, trending Sounds could boost your video’s visibility.
Users on TikTok choose a sound to see all the related videos. And, obviously, trending Sounds will be prioritized.
Even Older Videos Can Go Viral All of a Sudden
Videos on TikTok don’t have a short shelf life, as is the case on networks like Instagram. All your videos are being monitored constantly—and this includes the older ones.
If your video starts getting more engagement, it may go viral. It doesn’t matter when you posted it. This usually happens when the hashtags or Sounds you used start spiking in popularity.