By now, probably everyone knows that the best application for setting trends, going viral, and gaining a following is TikTok. Over the last two years, this social media platform has taken the world by storm and is now even rivaling Google for the most used search engine.
One reason why TikTok became so popular is its algorithm and the mysterious way it works. That’s why we’re going to dedicate today’s article to TikTok, the way it works, how it changed in 2023, and what you can do to use it better when uploading content on the platform.
Let’s get started.
What is the TikTok Algorithm?
Every social media platform has its own algorithm that determines what kind of content you will be shown based on a variety of factors. With TikTok, its algorithm works as a recommendation system that shows you videos on your “For You” page. No two users see the same type of videos on their For You pages, and over time the kind of content that you see tends to change based on what you’re currently watching and liking.
If we take a look at TikTok’s official explanation of how its algorithm works, we will see the following:
“A stream of videos curated to your interests, making it easy to find content and creators you love – powered by a recommendation system that delivers content to each user that is likely to be of interest to that particular user.”
How Does the TikTok Algorithm Work?
Back in the day, most social media platforms kept the way their algorithms worked a secret. For a good reason, since the algorithm is one thing that makes each platform unique. Not many users consider this, but it is the algorithm that locks us in and keeps us paying attention and visiting those apps. TikTok doesn’t want people uploading spam videos or shady content to be able to trick the algorithm and get far more attention than the kind they deserve.
However, due to the fact that the general public has started to become more skeptical about how social media platforms operate, most platforms have chosen to reveal the way their algorithms work, at least on a basic level. Thanks to that, we now know some of the key ranking signals for TikTok.
Let’s take a look at them.
Similarly to the way Instagram works, TikTok also recommends videos to users based on their current interaction with the content they’re being shown. What do we mean by “interactions”? Well, basically anything that might give the algorithm a clue as to what you enjoy seeing.
In TikTok, the For You page recommendations are based on a few key factors:
- The accounts you follow
- The videos you comment on
- All the videos you’ve shared or liked
- Videos that you’ve added to favorites
- Videos that you marked as inappropriate and ones you’ve shown you’re not interested in
- Longer videos that you’ve watched from start to finish
- The type of content you post
User signals are based on how you interact with others on the app. On the other hand, video information is based on what kind of content you search for in the Discover tab.
Typically, it includes things like
Device & Account Settings
TikTok allows its users to adjust their settings and make the app experience even better for themselves. However, most of these preferences come in the form of one-time setting choices rather than engagements; thus, they don’t influence the algorithm as much as the previous two factors we discussed.
Some of the device and account settings that influence the TikTok algorithm include
- Country setting
- Language preferences
- Mobile device type
- Categories of interest you’ve selected
What’s Not Influencing the TikTok Algorithm?
So far, we’ve discussed what factors have influenced the TikTok algorithm; now, let’s talk a bit about what kind of content won’t be recommended by the app:
- Duplicate content
- Content that was already shown to you
- Content that has been flagged as spam
- Graphic and potentially upsetting content
Perhaps the best thing about the TikTok algorithm is the following: unlike most other social media networks, it doesn’t base its recommendations on your follower count or based on how many viral videos you’ve uploaded. While accounts with a more significant following still get more views, that’s only because people are actively looking for their content. However, if you create good content that’s targeted to your audience, you have a huge chance of getting more popular and gaining views.
Now, let’s take a look at how you can become amongst the best creators for your target audience by revealing the best TikTok algorithm 2023 secrets.
Eight Ways To Use the TikTok Algorithm 2023 to Your Advantage
Turn Your Account Into a Pro One
When you create your profile on TikTok, you have the option to get a creator or business account. Having a pro account on its own won’t help you get more views; however, switching to one is still a key part of mastering the TikTok algorithm. That’s mainly because by having either a business or creator account, you’re able to access insights and metrics, which can give you information on how to go about your TikTok content creation strategy. It shows you who’s in your audience, when they’re most likely to watch your videos, and what type of content they’re enjoying.
If you don’t know how to switch your TikTok account to a business one, it’s pretty simple:
- Go to your profile and tap the three dots at the top right corner
- Click on Manage Account
- Choose “Switch to Business Account” and select the best category for your business
Find Your Niche
All social media platforms have niche communities, and it’s key to find which one your content belongs to so that you can drive further engagement. On TikTok, this might be even more important, because, unlike most social media networks where people spend time with accounts they’re already following, TikTok users spend most of their time on the so-called “For You” page.
If you can tap into an existing subculture or niche, your content will likely be shown to the right audience which is interested in it. The good thing is that it’s easy to get into different niches as hashtags separate them, and if you use the right ones, you will reach your target viewers.
Along with that, finding your best-fitting niche is what can help you create content that’s relevant to your TikTok audience, giving you better exposure and more credibility.
Be Engaging From the Start
TikTok is a fast-paced platform. You go from one video to the next without any stops. That’s why it’s vital that you add a hook to your video in the first few seconds. The idea behind this hook is to get your viewers to stop scrolling and watch your content.
A good trick for your opening is to catch the emotions of the crowd – say something surprising or scandalous, anything that might pique their interest, and get them to continue watching.
Focus on Writing a Great Caption
One new TikTok update now allows all users to write captions that are around 2000 characters, which is a lot by all standards. This means that you can focus on giving your audience value through your caption, along with telling them why they need to watch your video; in turn, that will help you get more views and increase engagement.
The caption can also be used to spark curiosity and engage in conversations with your viewers by simply asking them questions. After all, this is what can also ignite the viewers’ interest and encourage them to stay with your content.
Create High-Quality Videos Tailored for TikTok
This might seem quite obvious, but in case you weren’t certain – low-quality videos won’t get that much engagement from users. The cool thing is that thanks to modern technology, you don’t need to purchase fancy tech items to create a great video – all you need is your smartphone. However, what’s vital for a good video is lighting, sound, and some quick edits to make everything more seamless. TikTok’s videos can go from five seconds to 10 minutes; however, it’s the first 10 seconds that truly matter most.
Vertical videos tend to be more engaging when it comes to TikTok; that’s why you need to shoot in a 9:16 vertical format. The main reason users like them is that they take up almost the whole screen.
Another good tip is always to have some kind of sound on your video. According to TikTok users, 88% of them believe sound to be essential for engaging content on the platform. Another suggestion is you can add some text and built-in effects to finish the video and make it even more TikTok-like.
Engage with Other Users
Luckily for everyone, TikTok offers you a ton of ways to interact with other users. You can comment on their videos, share them, and even do TikTok-specific interactions such as stitching and dueting videos. Engaging with others on the platform makes your account more active and keeps building your engagement.
Stitching videos is a way to integrate other users’ content into your own by giving them credit and highlighting particular parts of their clip that fit with your content idea. On the other hand, Duets enable you to make “duets” with another user – either by commenting on what’s happening in their video or by singing with each other in real-time.
Another terrific way to create engagement is with video replies. This cool TikTok feature allows you to respond to comments left on your videos with a video, which can bring a ton of viewers, especially when you answer comments on your most popular pieces of content.
Use Trending Sounds and Music
TikTok is widely known for creating viral sounds from songs, movies, or even random Internet moments. Most users say that they prefer watching videos that have these kinds of viral sounds integrated into them. As you already know, participating in any kind of current trend is one of the best ways to get into the For You page and get more views.
With that said, how can you figure out which songs or sounds are trending?
Well, it’s pretty easy. Start recording a video on TikTok and click on the “+” at the bottom. From there, go to Sounds, and you can browse the most frequently used sounds. If you want to find the trending sounds within your own niche or with your target audience, you can do so with the help of the Analytics tab.
Make the Most Out of Hashtags
We already said that the TikTok algorithm places your content into a niche, depending on which hashtags you use. That’s why it’s vital that you choose the best ones to fit into your caption.
From the get-go, all videos should feature the so-called “For You” page tags – those ones that are typically used to get on the For You page. TikTok has never confirmed whether these actually work or not, but seeing as most TikTokers use them, it’s highly likely that they do.
Along with them, you have to use the so-called “trending hashtags” that can be found on the Discover tab in the trends section. It’s also good to note that hashtags related to different challenges are also likely to boost your engagement and get you more views, so make sure to regularly check what they are.
Before We Part Ways
As you can see, TikTok is a platform that’s so focused on providing the best user experience that it makes it easy for all creators to go viral and be seen. Unlike many of the legacy social media networks, TikTok is the kind of app that gives everyone an equal shot at getting views and increased engagement – as long as you play by the rules.
Fortunately for all of us, the TikTok algorithm 2023 is not that different from the one in 2020, and that kind of consistency makes it an even better platform for all users.
Hopefully, our tips prepared you to create even better content for your TikTok page and if you need more good advice, make sure to follow us on all social media platforms (we post frequently).