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TikTok’s Algorithm: How to Stay on Its Good Side

With over 1 billion active users (80 million of which are located right here in the US) and its highest earners earning creators raking in tens of millions of dollars, it is no surprise that many people are very interested in decoding Tiktok’s cryptic algorithm. 

What is Tiktok’s Algorithm, how often does it change, and why should you care as a creator? We’ll be answering all of that and more in this blog post. 

What is Tiktok’s Algorithm? 

In theory, Tiktok’s Algorithm is the artificial intelligence or code that tells the platform which videos to show to which users at what time and at what frequency. Tiktok is not unique for using an algorithm – almost every social platform you interact with utilizes some form of algorithm or combination of algorithms to help achieve their goals and delight users. 

Why Does TikTok Use An Algorithm?

The short answer? To keep users on the platform! It’s that simple. TikTok’s algorithm is why the top creators will often get shown millions of times more often than smaller accounts. This is not because an actual person evaluates these videos but instead because the algorithm crunched all the metrics, including likes and watch time and used that information to make educated guesses and what content each user will enjoy. And TikTok is pretty good at it, with users often admitting to regularly losing time on the app! 

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So wait, what is Tiktok’s Algorithm? 

No one knows what Tiktok Algorithm is. Once upon a time, there was a “standard” of the 7-second, text-heavy clip. The logic is that there was so much text on the screen and so little time to absorb it, so people would have to watch the video 3+ times just to read it. Did it make for more engaging content? Well, kind of, more people were engaged by watching clips repeatedly. The problem is that Tiktok’s algorithm is a computer program and thus very intelligent and dynamic.

Infuse’s Top TikTok Tips 

While the TikTok algorithm is not fully known, one thing remains true -there are NO shortcuts to creating engaging content. Here are some excellent tips that are as effective as they are simple.

1. Accept the Flops 

If you’re working on building your engagement rate, it can be incredibly tempting to delete poor-performing videos, but this can be a big double-sided mistake. 

On the one hand, The algorithm monitors and records everything you do on Tiktok i. EVERYTHING. Deleting your videos teaches the algorithm that you are not producing content that you believe in and that will be worth it to the app to promote. 

On the other hand, you could be acting too soon. People tend to believe that the initial push from Tiktok’s algorithm comes early, but plenty of data-savvy TikTok creators have deduced that the algorithm can spread out video pushes over several days. 

Remember, the algorithm is intelligent and knows how to keep people engaged. There could be a better time for your video right around the corner, but you’ll never know if you pull the plug before it gets its chance. 

2. The Ripple Theory 

The ripple theory states that TikTok has set up barriers or tests that your content must pass in order for more audiences to see it. If you can pass the first few waves of these barriers, your content can explode exponentially or enjoy a ripple effect. 

For Instance, your video may need one like, one comment and one share to pass the first test. TikTok will audience test your video by exposing it to ten people, increasing your likelihood of passing the test. If you don’t hit these metrics with your initial audience, your video will fizzle out and gain no traction. The algorithm may assume that your content is not engaging enough or that something is wrong with it. However, your content moves to the next test if you hit these metrics.

Test 2 may require ten views, one like one comment, and one share. To pass, TikTok wants at least double. That means a minimum of 2 new likes, two new comments, and two new shares. They’re giving you 15 new people – so 25 views in total. Have you hit it? Okay, now, TikTok is going to test you. 

Your video now has 25 views, five likes, three comments, and three shares. They want at least double, but now they’re putting your video in front of 1000 new people. (Potentially why you always hear people say, “wow, my video just took off.”)

 TikTok is good at exposing your video to a large audience quickly – the infamous virality of the platform. Pass this test, and they give you 5,000 new people… 10,000 new people… 20,000… exponentially increasing the pace at which you go viral, all the while making sure they test your content for engagement and retention metrics that keep people asking for more.

Remember that these numbers are arbitrary and meant for illustration purposes only. 


Join our community of like-minded creators on Discord for more tested tips on leveraging the TikTok algorithm.  

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