Everything You Need to Know About TikTok’s Algorithm

Published on 12th of October 2021

If you’re trying to break out on TikTok, mastering the algorithm is a must. While many social media networks keep their algorithms under wraps, TikTok is open about how it chooses videos to display. You can use this information to get your videos on the For You page and show up in search results. So let’s dive in and look at the various ranking factors.

 

 

User Interaction 

User interaction is the No. 1 ranking factor on TikTok. Like other social networks, TikTok wants to show people the videos they’re most likely to watch. Thus, if a user regularly interacts with your videos, that person will see more offerings from you.

 

However, simply watching a second or two of your videos isn’t enough. TikTok also analyzes the completion rate when determining which videos to show. If someone only watches a second or two of a video, he or she might not see future offerings.

 

It’s also worth noting that high levels of user interaction will also help you expand your reach. When videos have a lot of interaction, TikTok shows them to other users as well. 

 

For example, let’s say that you post a video that thousands of people watch to completion. TikTok will take notice and show it to a larger audience. As long as the video continues performing well, the app will show it to more and more people. This is how videos go viral on TikTok. 

 

 

Video Information

person using MacBook pro turned on

TikTok lists “video information” as the second most important ranking factor in its algorithm. Basically, TikTok does its best to put people in front of videos they’re searching for on the app. For instance, if they are searching for a particular sound bite and your video has it, it might show that person your video. Video information also includes hashtags and captions. 

 

Along with displaying videos that people are actively searching for, TikTok uses video information to show people videos they often search for on the app. For instance, if someone has spent days watching videos with a particular hashtag, TikTok will continue to show videos that contain that hashtag. 

 

 

Device and Account Settings

space gray iPhone 6 at 15:15 clock

This is the third and least important ranking factor on TikTok. The app analyzes each user’s:

  • Location
  • Language preference
  • Device type

 

This doesn’t mean you can’t reach a global audience on the site. Viral videos reach viewers around the world. However, TikTok does consider these factors to provide the best viewing experience possible for users. 

 

 

How to Make the Algorithms Work for You

Now that you know the ranking factors, it’s time to see how you can make the algorithm work for you. Check out some tips that will help you expand your reach.  

 

Create Short, Engaging Videos to Boost User Interaction 

timelapse photo of vehicles near trees

You need to create videos that engage people until the end, so you can increase user interaction. It’s even better if they replay the video again after making it to the end. Uploading short and engaging videos is the key to increasing user interaction.  

 

In the past, TikTok limited all videos to 15 seconds but increased it to 60 seconds. Still, many users crave short 15-second clips. So by keeping your videos short and to the point, you can expect to improve your completion rate.

 

 

Spend Time Creating Engaging Captions

New TikTok users often upload videos with bland captions. It’s easy to see why this happens. You’re so excited to post a video that you submit it as fast as possible.

 

Unfortunately, these videos don’t get much exposure. Remember, video information is critical, so take your time creating engaging captions. These captions will be a hit with the TikTok algorithm and will also pique the interest of users. 

 

The caption should include a hook that compels people to play your video. Use the space to tease the video, but don’t give away too much. You want people to read the caption and immediately think, “I need to click on the video to get the details.”

 

 

Be Smart With Hashtags

Hashtag, Abstract, Background, Dramatic, Dark, Lines

Using the right hashtags is also critical for ranking on TikTok. Your hashtags are part of the caption, and TikTok will review them before deciding to display your video.

 

First, you want to appear on the For You page, so use related hashtags such as:

  • #fyp
  • #foryou
  • #foryoupage

 

These hashtags will not guarantee that your videos will appear on the page, but they will increase the odds.

 

Second, you need to include hashtags related to the content you’re sharing. Then, you can reach people who are likely to be interested in the video. Don’t just include any hashtag that comes to mind, though. Hop over to the Discover tab to see what’s trending. Find hashtags that fit with your video and add them.

 

 

Use Trending Songs and Sounds

gray cassette tape on yellow surface

Remember, TikTok considers the video’s audio as part of its algorithm. You can find trending songs and sounds by using:

 

  • TikTok’s video editor to access sounds 
  • TikTok Pro analytics to see what your followers are listening to on the app

 

You can also find out what’s performing well by being active on TikTok. Watch lots of videos and pay attention to the sounds and songs that appear time and time again. These audio clips are hot, so incorporate them into your videos. 

 

 

Post at the Right Time

You can also get a boost on the site by posting when your audience is most engaged. Again, use TikTok Pro analytics to determine the best time to post on your account. The more engaged your audience is, the more views your content will receive. Then, you can reach more people.

 

 

Use These Tips to Increase Your Exposure

By releasing information about the algorithm, TikTok provides creators with a gift. Now, you know what you need to do to increase your views and reach. Start incorporating these strategies today. These strategies, paired with high-quality videos, can help you go viral on the app.