2023 TikTok Algorithm Explained + Tips to Go Viral

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The TikTok algorithm is the gas that feeds the platform’s extremely addictive For You Web page. Right here’s the whole lot manufacturers want to learn about how the TikTok algorithm works, and how one can work with it in 2023.

Obtain our Social Developments report to get information from over 10,000 entrepreneurs that you should use to plan a viral-worthy social technique in 2023.

What’s the TikTok algorithm?

The TikTok algorithm is a advice system that determines which movies will seem in your (distinctive and extremely customized) For You web page.

No two customers will see the identical movies on their For You web page, and the movies you see would possibly change over time based mostly in your viewing preferences and even your present mind-set.

Right here’s how TikTok itself defines the TikTok For You page algorithm:

“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?

Social platforms originally kept their algorithms secret. This makes sense since the recommendation system is a proprietary technology that helps make each social network unique.

Algorithms are a key way social networks draw us in and keep us paying attention. TikTok doesn’t want spammers and other shady characters to be able to game the algorithm to get more attention than they deserve.

However, as people have become more skeptical about the inner workings of social networks, most platforms have revealed the basic workings of their algorithms.

Fortunately, that means we now know some of the key ranking signals for the TikTok recommendation algorithm, straight from TikTok — we describe them in detail below.

TikTok algorithm ranking signals

User interactions, video information, and device and account settings are the main factors that influence the TikTok algorithm.

1. User interactions

Much like the Instagram algorithm, the TikTok algorithm bases recommendations on a user’s interactions with content on the app. What kind of interactions? Anything that offers clues about the kind of content the user likes, or doesn’t like.

The For You page recommends content based on several factors, including:

  • Which accounts you follow
  • Comments you’ve posted
  • Creators or sounds you’ve chosen to hide
  • Videos you’ve liked or shared on the app
  • Videos you’ve added to your favorites
  • Videos you’ve marked as “Not Interested”
  • Videos you’ve reported as inappropriate
  • Longer videos you watch all the way to the end (aka video completion rate)
  • Content you create on your own account
  • Interests you’ve expressed by interacting with organic content and ads

2. Video information

While user interaction signals are based on the way you interact with other users on the app, video information signals are based on the content you tend to seek out through Discover or Search.

This can include details like:

  • Captions
  • Sounds
  • Hashtags*
  • Effects
  • Trending topics

*if you want to understand more about how your TikTok hashtag strategy affects your reach via the algorithm, watch our video:

3. Device and account settings

These are settings TikTok uses to optimize performance. However, since they’re based on one-time settings choices rather than active engagements, they do not have as much influence on what you see on the platform as user interaction and video information signals.

Some of the device and account settings included in the TikTok algorithm are:

  • Language preference
  • Country setting (you may be more likely to see content from people in your own country)
  • Type of mobile device
  • Categories of interest you selected as a new user

What’s not included in the TikTok algorithm

The following types of content will NOT be recommended by the algorithm:

  • Duplicated content
  • Content you’ve already seen
  • Content the algorithm flags as spam (including videos “seeking to artificially increase traffic”)
  • Potentially upsetting content (TikTok gives the examples of “graphic medical procedures” or “legal consumption of regulated goods”)

And here’s the good news for all new TikTok users, or those who haven’t yet built up a large follower base. TikTok does NOT base recommendations on follower count or on a history of previous high-performing videos.

Sure, accounts with more followers will likely get more views because people are actively seeking that content. However, if you create great content that speaks directly to your target audience, you have as much chance to land on their For You page as an account that has had previous viral videos (this includes even the biggest TikTok stars).

Not convinced? Here’s the scoop straight from TikTok:

“You may come across a video in your feed that doesn’t appear to … have amassed a huge number of likes…. Bringing a diversity of videos into your For You feed gives you additional opportunities to stumble upon new content categories, discover new creators, and experience new perspectives.”

Your goal is to be one of those new creators for your target audience. Here are 9 tips to help you do just that.

9 tips for getting picked up by the TikTok algorithm

1. Find your subculture

It’s important to find existing communities to engage with on all social platforms. But the nature of the TikTok recommendation algorithm makes this an even more important step on the app.

That’s because unlike on other social networks, where people spend much of their time engaging with accounts they already follow, TikTokers spend most of their time on the For You page. And 70% of them say they really feel like a part of a group on the platform.

In the event you can faucet into an present group—or subculture—you’re extra probably to be amplified to the fitting viewers. Happily, TikTok subcultures collect round hashtags (extra on these later). A number of the prime communities on TikTok in 2022 had been:


“The largest e book membership on the planet.”

Story time with Chief Librarian Ken Soehner! Do you know The Met has eight libraries? #MuseumLibraryWeek #BookTok #LibraryTikTok

♬ authentic sound – The Met


With 40.3 billion views, its secure to say this TikTok group is eager on automobiles.

A sneak peak of the sounds of the model new BMW i7. Combining electrical efficiency and multisensory leisure, this luxurious automobile produces an unforgettable driving expertise. #bmw #bmwuk #bmwi7 #i7 #soundsof #soundsoftiktok #carasmr #asmr #bmwlove #bmwmotorsport #bmwelectric #bmwsoftiktok #msport #ev #electriccar #electricvehicle #asmrsounds #asmrvideo #asmrtiktoks #asmrsound #bmwi #newcar #newcarcheck #fyp #automobile #carsoftiktok #cartok

♬ authentic sound – Berry BMW


A brand new technology of farmers and ranchers provides an inside have a look at farm life.

#samdracottfarrier #asmr #farrier #oddlysatisfying #horsesoftiktok #learnontiktok #satisfying #farmtok #uk #horsetok #horses #equestrian

♬ authentic sound – Sam Dracott Farrier


Crafters take their social media significantly, as evidenced by the three.8 billion views of this yarny group.

New cranium set out on Jan 6 😈😈 #crochet #skulls #crochetersoftiktok #cranium #journey #crochettok #witchtok #witchy

♬ The Hills x The Colour Violet x Creepin – darkvidez

Understanding your most precious subculture can even show you how to create content material that connects authentically with TikTokers, creating larger credibility, model loyalty, and much more publicity. TikTok customers need manufacturers to take this method: 76% say they prefer it when manufacturers are part of particular curiosity teams on the platform.

TikTok’s Viewers Insights can assist you discover your subculture by figuring out the curiosity classes and hashtags most related to your viewers.

TikTok’s Audience Insights ads manager

Supply: TikTok

To entry Viewers Insights, open TikTok Advertisements Supervisor and hover over Reporting, then click on Viewers Insights. Observe that you just don’t have to be a TikTok advertiser to use this device.

2. Maximize the primary moments

TikTok strikes quick. This isn’t the platform to add an intro earlier than you dive into the meat of your video. The hook to your video wants to encourage viewers to cease scrolling.

Seize consideration and present the worth of watching within the first seconds of your TikTok. Particularly, the primary two seconds are vital for recall and model consciousness.

Crocs grabs your consideration proper off the bat with this… uh… Croc prime? And issues by no means decelerate from there.

Why do you suppose Crocs are licensed ICONIC? 📣 Sound Off 📣 #Crocs #CrocTok #vogue #iconic

♬ authentic sound – Crocs

3. Optimize for search

TikTok website positioning is the brand new buzzword, and the TL;DR is that you really want to make content material for key phrases and hashtags that persons are trying to find. This permits you to get your content material in entrance of people who find themselves actively in search of particular content material on the platform, quite than simply scrolling by means of the FYP.

TikTok not too long ago expanded the utmost size of captions to 2,200 characters. That additional actual property provides you loads of room to work with key phrases that can enhance your TikTok website positioning. Begin searching for trending key phrases by area and trade within the TikTok Artistic Heart.

In fact, your caption’s not the one place to embrace key phrases. TikTok can even decide them up out of your voiceover or textual content overlay.

Need to study extra? We’ve a complete video on how to begin up your TikTok website positioning technique:

4. Create high-quality movies particularly for TikTok

This must be an apparent one, proper? Low-quality content material isn’t going to discover its approach to the For You web page.

You don’t want any fancy gear — actually, your cellphone is the very best device for creating genuine video. What you do want is respectable lighting, a superb microphone if you happen to’re going to report audio, and a few fast edits and transitions to hold the content material shifting.

TikTok movies will be 5 seconds to 10 minutes lengthy, however TikTok says movies ought to at all times be longer than 10 seconds to make the very best impression. That stated, don’t go unnecessarily lengthy. Video completion charge is a vital sign to the algorithm, so that you don’t need individuals to drop off out of your video as a result of it drags on and on.

For now, you want to shoot video vertically to succeed on TikTok. However the platform started testing a horizontal video possibility late final 12 months, so keep tuned for potential developments on this entrance. Because it’s unclear whether or not horizontal video will grow to be a full function, stick to 9:16 filming.

Design your movies to be performed with the sound on. 93% of TikTokers use the platform with sound on, and 88% said sound is “important” on the platform.

And make sure to use TikTok’s built-in options like results and textual content therapies. In accordance to TikTok: “These native options assist hold your content material feeling native to the platform which might additionally assist get it on extra For You pages!”

The Washington Put up won’t seem to be the obvious model to experiment with TikTok results, however they’re killing it by utilizing inexperienced display backgrounds and fast cuts to make complicated information tales simply digestible.

Firms paying for information say most of these transactions — identified within the trade as “zero-party information sharing” — profit shoppers who, till now, obtained nothing save focused promoting in trade for his or her information.

♬ authentic sound – We’re a newspaper.

Particularly, strive experimenting with trending results. TikTok identifies these throughout the results menu.

5. Put up on the proper time to your viewers

Whereas that is essential for all social media platforms, it’s notably so for TikTok. Lively engagement together with your content material is a key sign to the algorithm.

There are a few methods to discover out when your viewers is most energetic on the app.

1. TikTok analytics:

  • Out of your profile web page, faucet the three dots icon on the prime proper of the display.
  • Faucet Creator instruments, then Analytics.
tiktok analytics follower activity

Supply: TikTok

For extra particulars, we’ve acquired a complete submit on how to get the utmost advantages from TikTok Analytics.

2. Hootsuite greatest time to submit

In case you have a TikTok Enterprise account (quite than a Creator account), you should use Hootsuite’s Finest Time To Publish function to get customized suggestions on the very best time to submit to your particular viewers.

Hootsuite Best Time To Publish feature

Take a look at our video on how to discover the very best time to submit to TikTok to your account:

6. Interact with different TikTok customers

21% of TikTokers stated they really feel extra related to manufacturers that touch upon different individuals’s posts. Preserving on prime of the feedback by yourself movies can also be key: 76% of customers say that manufacturers that submit or reply to feedback really feel like a part of the TikTok group.

TikTok recommends a “react, reply, and remix technique”:

  • React to trending content material
  • Reply to trending questions or prompts
  • Remix trending concepts with creators

Duets, Sew, and video replies to feedback are nice methods to have interaction this technique.

Sew is a device that enables you to clip and combine moments from different TikTokers’ content material into your personal.

Duets permit one person to report a “duet” with one other person by commenting alongside the unique creator’s video in actual time.

And video replies to feedback allow you to create new video content material based mostly on feedback or questions in your earlier posts.

Fenty Magnificence persistently makes use of video replies to create movies addressing followers’ feedback and requests, exhibiting they’re paying consideration to their person base and making individuals’s day within the course of:

@fentybeauty Replying to @saleeeeena Daaaaas proper, UK boos!! 🤎 #FENTYPARFUM is dropping EXCLUSIVELY in-store & on-line at Harvey Nichols TOMORROW❕#harveynichols #fentybeauty ♬ authentic sound – Fenty Magnificence

The default settings on TikTok permit others to create Duets and Sew movies utilizing your content material. If you need to change this for any specific video, faucet the three dots icon on the video to open Privateness Settings, then regulate as wanted.

It’s also possible to flip off these options to your complete account, however that may restrict the alternatives for different TikTok customers to have interaction together with your content material, reducing discovery potential.

7. Use the fitting hashtags

To seek out trending hashtags, head to the TikTok Artistic Heart. Click on on the Analytics button subsequent to any trending hashtag to see a full breakdown of its recognition, together with viewers demographic particulars and associated pursuits.

trending hashtags #albumcover

Supply: TikTok Artistic Heart

Make sure to hold a watch out for hashtags associated to challenges. Hashtag challenges are a great way to give you new concepts for content material whereas sending the algorithm some good pattern vibes.

And take word: 77% of TikTokers stated they like when manufacturers “leverage tendencies, showcase memes, or begin participatory challenges on TikTok.”

It’s also possible to focus in your particular viewers and discover the highest 10 hashtags they work together with utilizing the TikTok Viewers Insights device.

8. Use trending sounds and music

Two-thirds (67%) of TikTokers stated they like model movies that includes fashionable or trending songs. And, like we’ve already stated, taking part in any sort of pattern is an efficient guess when aiming for the For You web page.

So, how do you discover out which songs and sounds are trending?

You may typically get a way of the most recent trending sounds simply by keeping track of your For You web page.

However to get extra particular, you’ll find trending songs by area within the TikTok Artistic Heart. Similar to for trending hashtags, you’ll find analytics information like viewers demographics and associated pursuits. Observe that this part of the Artistic Heart solely contains songs, not user-generated authentic sounds.

9. Be actual – and have enjoyable

TikTok isn’t the place for buttoned-up, overly polished content material.

  • 65% of TikTokers say professional-looking movies from manufacturers really feel misplaced
  • 44% need to see “enjoyable or entertaining” content material from manufacturers
  • 71% say creator authenticity has motivated them to purchase a product
  • 64% choose seeing on a regular basis individuals in TikTok advertisements as a substitute of celebrities
  • 75% say manufacturers’ TikToks ought to really feel like a view into the manufacturers’ and staff’ day by day lives
  • 77% prefer it when manufacturers give a glance behind the scenes or reveal extra about themselves

TikTok customers need to see manufacturers experiment and have enjoyable on the platform: 79% say manufacturers ought to experiment with totally different subjects to see what fits them greatest on TikTok.

TikTok algorithm FAQs

What’s the TikTok algorithm?

The TikTok algorithm is a proprietary set of indicators that TikTok makes use of to decide what content material seems within the personalized For You web page for every TikTok person.

How to reset the TikTok algorithm

There’s no official approach to reset the TikTok algorithm, however there are a number of steps you’ll be able to take to assist retrain it to change what you see on the For You web page.

  1. Clear your cache. Out of your profile, faucet the 3-line icon, then faucet Settings and Privateness, then Clear cache.
  2. Unfollow accounts. Out of your profile, click on the quantity above Following, then unfollow anybody you now not need to see content material from.
  3. Like extra of what you do need to see. Ship new indicators to the algorithm about what you’d choose to see by liking the kinds of movies you need to see extra of.

What are the TikTok’s algorithm predominant rating components?

The principle rainking components of the TikTok algorithm are:

  • Consumer interactions: Likes, shares, follows, feedback, and so forth.
  • Video info: Captions, sounds, hashtags, and many others.
  • Machine and account settings: Language, nation, machine sort and many others.

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