Today, we will simplify the whole TikTok algorithm for you, and add to that some tips on how to go viral. Let us start with a brief background check on what is the TikTok algorithm and how it works.

TikTok has changed the face of social media, and it has quickly become one of the most popular social media applications, particularly among younger generations. Launched in 2016, the app allows users to create and share short-form videos, typically set to music or other audio clips. Its algorithm-based “For You” page showcases popular videos and helps to personalize content for each user. In 2020, TikTok was one of the most downloaded apps worldwide, with over 2 billion downloads. Its popularity has been attributed to its easy-to-use interface, engaging content, and the ability to discover original and creative content creators. While it remains to be seen whether TikTok will continue to dominate the social media landscape, it has undoubtedly made a significant impact on the way people create and consume online content.

TikTok algorithm determines personalized content

The TikTok algorithm determines personalized content recommendations on users’ For You page, based on their viewing preferences and even their current state of mind. It is proprietary technology that is kept secret to prevent spammers and shady characters from gaming the algorithm. However, TikTok has revealed some key ranking signals, and the “For You page” algorithm is a stream of videos curated to users’ interests and powered by a recommendation system that delivers content likely to be of interest to each particular user. We’ve detailed it for you below.

  • User interactions: The TikTok algorithm makes recommendations based on a user’s interactions with content, similar to the Instagram algorithm. These interactions provide insights into the type of content that the user enjoys or dislikes. The For You page on TikTok recommends content based on various factors, including accounts you’ve followed, comments you’ve posted, video preferences, and interests expressed through organic content and ads. Additionally, the algorithm takes into account the user’s account and device settings, although they have less influence on content recommendations compared to user interaction and video information signals.
  • Video information: The TikTok algorithm uses video information signals based on the content the user tends to search for or discover, including captions, sounds, hashtags, effects, and trending topics. These signals differ from user interaction signals, which rely on how the user interacts with other users on the app.
  • Device and account settings: TikTok utilizes device and account settings to optimize performance, which includes language preference, country setting, mobile device type, and selected categories of interest as a new user. These settings have less influence on content recommendations compared to user interaction and video information signals since they are based on one-time setting choices instead of active engagements.

TikTok algorithm is designed to recommend content that is unique and personalized for each individual user.

The TikTok algorithm filters out certain types of content from appearing on a user’s For You page. For example, duplicated content and videos that the user has already seen will not be recommended. Additionally, the algorithm flags spammy content that seeks to artificially increase traffic and will not display it to users. Moreover, TikTok considers the potential impact of certain types of content on its users. This includes graphic medical procedures or the legal consumption of regulated goods. It will not recommend them to users. By filtering out these types of content, TikTok aims to provide its users with a positive and enjoyable user experience on the platform.

On a happier note, for newbies on TikTok; regardless of follower count, creating engaging content that resonates with your target audience can still increase the chance of landing on their For You page. This is because TikTok strives to bring diversity and various content categories to its users’ feeds.

Because we always try to make your life easier, here are a few tips to land on the #FYP of your target audience.
  1. Identify your subculture by using TikTok’s Audience Insights tool and create authentic content that connects with TikTokers.
  2. Grab viewers’ attention in the first two seconds of your video with a hook that inspires them to stop scrolling and watch.
  3. Use keywords and hashtags that people are searching for to improve your TikTok SEO, and keep your content native to the platform by including trending keywords.
  4. Shoot authentic videos with decent lighting and quick edits, and use TikTok’s built-in features to keep your content engaging.
  5. Experiment with posting at different times to see what works best for your audience and be consistent with your posting schedule.
  6. Engage with your followers and make them feel like part of your community.
  7. Use relevant and trending hashtags to boost your content’s visibility and create content that resonates with your target audience.
  8. Use popular or trending songs in brand videos and participate in trends to increase your chances of appearing on the For You page.
  9. Be authentic and have fun with your content. Experiment with different topics, and give your audience a behind-the-scenes look.

In conclusion, TikTok has transformed social media and is particularly popular among younger generations. The preferences of users, as well as their moods, are used to generate personalized content recommendations. Create engaging content that resonates with your target audience by optimizing your subcultures, using SEO, and posting high-quality videos to increase your chances of appearing on users’ For You page. Visit for more information on creating engaging TikTok content.

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Author Profile

Nathalie Jeha
Founder – CEO Better'fly Lebanon
General Manager - Certified Marketing Consultant