Understanding TikTok's Algorithm

by Emme Phillips
May 24, 2022

The rapidly growing video-sharing app known as TikTok started in 2016 by the Chinese startup company ByteDance. The app gained 315 million new users in Spring of 2020 at the peak of COVID-19. Engineers at TikTok quickly invented a way for videos to be distinguished as a “hit” or not. Each video is either spread to a larger audience on the “For You” page or is presented exclusively to your followers. So, how can you navigate their algorithm to benefit you? We don’t have all the answers. But, what we do understand is this:

1. TikTok is more likely to show your video to a larger audience on the “For You” page when interactions are high. Interactions include likes, comments, shares, or saves.

2. Trends work in your favor: whether you're recreating a trending video or using a popular sound/ filter, the sooner you jump on a trend the greater your chance of going viral.

3. Focus on a niche market. Keep in mind your target audience when creating content to directly communicate with them. This makes it more likely that they will see your content.

4. Hook your audience with shorter videos. Users have short attention spans while scrolling through social media.

5. Engage with similar creators. There is a whole pool of creators just like you. When you engage with their content, it brings attention to your own.

Although creators have had a difficult time understanding the algorithms and usage, when scrolling through your “For You” page, it is clear that the videos displayed are curated to your interests. The engineers found a way to push users down a rabbit hole to spend hours of your day on TikTok. Cookies are used to identify what each user will spend the most time watching. Using what we know, we can work towards leveraging this app to bring attention to our businesses and brands.

ABOUT THE AUTHOr
Emme Phillips is Fifty Six's Marketing Intern. She is a student at Pepperdine University studying Integrated Marketing Communications. In her free time, you can find her at the beach or in the mountains; she loves spending time outdoors. @emmephillips
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Understanding TikTok's Algorithm

by Emme Phillips
May 24, 2022

The rapidly growing video-sharing app known as TikTok started in 2016 by the Chinese startup company ByteDance. The app gained 315 million new users in Spring of 2020 at the peak of COVID-19. Engineers at TikTok quickly invented a way for videos to be distinguished as a “hit” or not. Each video is either spread to a larger audience on the “For You” page or is presented exclusively to your followers. So, how can you navigate their algorithm to benefit you? We don’t have all the answers. But, what we do understand is this:

1. TikTok is more likely to show your video to a larger audience on the “For You” page when interactions are high. Interactions include likes, comments, shares, or saves.

2. Trends work in your favor: whether you're recreating a trending video or using a popular sound/ filter, the sooner you jump on a trend the greater your chance of going viral.

3. Focus on a niche market. Keep in mind your target audience when creating content to directly communicate with them. This makes it more likely that they will see your content.

4. Hook your audience with shorter videos. Users have short attention spans while scrolling through social media.

5. Engage with similar creators. There is a whole pool of creators just like you. When you engage with their content, it brings attention to your own.

Although creators have had a difficult time understanding the algorithms and usage, when scrolling through your “For You” page, it is clear that the videos displayed are curated to your interests. The engineers found a way to push users down a rabbit hole to spend hours of your day on TikTok. Cookies are used to identify what each user will spend the most time watching. Using what we know, we can work towards leveraging this app to bring attention to our businesses and brands.

ABOUT THE AUTHOr
Emme Phillips is Fifty Six's Marketing Intern. She is a student at Pepperdine University studying Integrated Marketing Communications. In her free time, you can find her at the beach or in the mountains; she loves spending time outdoors. @emmephillips
BACK TO FINDINGS