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How Does The TikTok Algorithm Work

Ok let’s be honest, who hasn’t found themselves getting lost on TikTok and spending hours at a time scrolling on their for you page. Chances are, if you have TikTok downloaded, or did at one point in time, you understand how addictive the app can be. From dancing videos, to fitness and meal prep videos, there is something on TikTok for everyone. 

It’s time to address the question that we’re all thinking about – ‘what makes TikTok so addictive, and how does the app do such an excellent job of knowing what you’re interested in!’ The answer to that question lies in the TikTok algorithm, which does a great job of picking up on a user’s viewing behaviors and habits. Keep reading to learn more about how the TikTok algorithm works and tips on how to use it to grow your TikTik page.

For You Page (FYP)

The For You Page is where users view content from other TikTok users who they do not follow. The FYP suggests videos that TikTok thinks the users will be interested in. Over time, the content you see on your FYP gets more specific to your interests by taking a variety of factors into consideration. Take a look at the Influencer Marketing Hub visual below to see a breakdown of the exact actions that the algorithm looks at. 

Every time that you like, comment, save  or share a video, TikTok takes it as a sign that you are interested in that type of content. It will then continue to show you videos related to that content, until you start showing interest in another genre. Additionally, TikTok carefully takes into consideration how much of a video you watch. If you start to quickly skip through TikToks, the algorithm will think that you’re no long interested in that genre of content and will start to show you new types of videos. 

Determining The Subject of A Video

TikTok categorizes videos based on different subjects so it knows which content to show a user to best suit their interests. When determining the subject of a video, TikTok looks at the keywords and hashtags in its caption, its sound, any effects that were used and the video’s transcript. For example, if a video was made to a trending sound that is being used to showcase a dance, then TikTok will show that video to users who they think are interested in that type of content.

Now that we have a better understanding of how TikTok determines which videos it’s going to show to a user, let’s take a look at how creators can use the algorithm to their advantage to hook in new audiences.

Hook In The Viewer In The First Few Seconds

Sprout Social, a social media publishing and analytics tool, says that in order to get a user to watch your entire video, it is important you make the first few seconds of your video creative and unique. On TikTok, there’s millions of videos for users to scroll through – therefore, if you want to attract new followers, you need to give users a good reason to want to watch your video, instead of skipping through it.


Use Hashtags!

Another great strategy to attract new audiences is using hashtags relating to your niche. This is a great way to clearly communicate to the algorithm the type of user you would like to attract. For example, if your video is about cooking, you may use a hashtags such as #food #recipe #cook. More general hashtags that can help you achieve great results are #fyp and #foryoupage – these are two of the most popular hashtags since TikTok was first launched. 

**Important tip: you should always look out for trending sounds and hashtags to stay relevant on TikTok!