The TikTok Algorithm Explained
Getting under the skin of any social media algorithm is the bread and butter for any social media marketer or brand out there. Over the years, social media apps have adapted their algorithms numerous times, affecting how likely your content is to be shown, and how likely your target user is to interact with your posts.
But for the new kid on the block, TikTok – its algorithm has made it easier to go viral than any other platform.
Well, unless you’ve been hiding under a rock the past year (or you’re over the age of 45), TikTok has led the app rankings with over 738 mill downloads in 2019 alone. TikTok allows users to share short creative videos which has undoubtedly taken the social app experience to a new level.
The main reason for its success is that it hits the sweet spot of showing you content posted by your friends/people you follow, but also content that is tailored “For You”.
The “For You” page is the first thing you see when opening the app, containing endless videos that you will presumably enjoy. It’s this page which will have you scrolling on the toilet till your legs go numb (come on, we’ve all been there). But essentially, this is why TikTok is a success, it’s not social media, it’s social entertainment.
How does it work?
TikTok is using machine learning to evaluate the quality of every video uploaded. Everyone understands that content is king, and this applies to TikTok, good content = social success.
When a video is uploaded, TikTok shows it to a small number of users in between popular trending videos. This way, the user doesn’t get bored. The algorithm then measures how much of your video is actually watched, as well as how many likes, comments, and shares it gets. It’s the viral videos that ultimately act as the carrot on the stick, hooking users to watch more, and more, and more, and more, and m…. you get the idea
The sweet spot ratio brands or users should aim for is one “like” for every 10 views. This triggers the algorithm to show your video to more people. In essence, the algorithm is triggered by the velocity of the engagement it receives. Content that gets less than that 1/10 like to view ratio will stop growing. The beauty of TikTok is that you don’t need a strong following to go viral. Anyone can record a video, upload it into TikTok and start getting views based on this algorithm.
TikTok enables brands to create short form video content in a fun, creative space that is alot different to Instagram and event Snapchat.
Are you already using TikTok?
Let us know!