Home for the most exciting trends in popular culture, TikTok has rapidly evolved into one of the most used forms of social media - threatening to dethrone Instagram. But how? TikTok’s default For-You-Page (FYP) tab is a highly advanced system designed to expose new music and edutainment recommendations to a diverse culture of communities that exist on the platform. If you want to know the secret to consistently landing on TikTok’s addictive FYP, we’re here to decode the mysterious algorithm that will make you besties in no time.
What is the TikTok algorithm?
Similar to Instagram, TikTok’s algorithm is a recommendation system that relies on ‘signals’ such as likes, comments and how much time you spend on a post to deliver an endless stream of entertainment that best caters to your interests. TikTok’s goal is to keep you scrolling; with each watch, the platform learns and understands more about your behaviour to curate a special selection of entertaining content.
The TikTok algorithm works to achieve four main goals:
TikTok focuses on providing specially curated content that will highly stimulate your interests. In order to do this, the algorithm regularly monitors your interactions to mathematically assess the right content “For You”.
Long-term user value
The algorithm works to ensure that users return to the platform to receive an insatiable dose of entertainment.
As TikTok doesn't prioritise creators based on their following or a user’s history of high-performing content, this means that every creator has the potential to go viral.
TikTok’s own algorithm is used to improve the value of the platform itself.
How does the TikTok algorithm work?
The TikTok algorithm adjusts according to your behaviours and interests over time. Recommendations are based on the following factors to create a uniquely personalised experience that leaves your audience coming back for more:
TikTok takes into consideration the videos you like, share and the duration of time spent watching a video to gauge their preferences.
The algorithm looks at the type of captions, sounds and hashtags used in the video. Content that integrates trending sounds and hashtags will ultimately increase their visibility on TikTok’s FYP. You can discover the hottest trends by using the search tool or via TikTok’s creative centre for some inspiration.
Device and account settings
Factors like your language preference, geographics and device type all play a part in optimising the right kind of content that TikTok believes you would like to see. For example, when travelling overseas, you may find that your FYP is weighted to content from creators in that region or about customs and cultures specific to that region.
TikTok observes how users interact with content (e.g., do they watch the entire video, share it, or scroll past quickly) to further refine their FYP.
How to beat the TikTok algorithm
While there's no foolproof formula for guaranteed success on TikTok, there are strategies you can employ to increase your chances of beating the algorithm:
Find your tribe
With 70% of users stating that they feel like they’re part of a community on TikTok, engaging in the right kind of tribe that compliments your niche will amplify your content to the right consumer. As the algorithm pushes content that aligns with your audience’s interests, it is important to create content that truly resonates with the rising trends and ever-changing interests of your community.
Focus on maximising your TikTok SEO by creating engaging captions and utilising trendy captions that invite your audience to interact with your content. Investing in a creative hashtag and caption strategy ensures that your content reaches your target audience and those actively seeking that kind of content on the platform.
The 3 second rule
TikTok was designed to entertain so time is of the essence here. Executing a good hook and the right cues is key to capturing your audience’s attention within the first three seconds.
Trending sounds will help push your content to the FYP a lot faster. Music plays a powerful role on TikTok, facilitating the discovery of new music artists, instant creation of music trends and overall challenges creators to think outside of the box.
Engaging with audience
Responding promptly to your comments and engaging in your audience’s duets will push the visibility of your content. The more likes and comments your content receives will rank your content even higher.
Establish a regular posting schedule to maintain visibility and keep your audience engaged. Consistency signals to the algorithm that you're a committed creator.
Experiment and iterate
Don't be afraid to try new content formats, styles, and trends to keep your content fresh and adapt to changes in the algorithm.
Whilst there is no standard formula for dominating TikTok’s FYP, understanding the ins and outs of the algorithm, maximising your TikTok SEO and creating engaging content specifically for your audience will increase your chances of securing a top spot in the rank. Good luck!
Frequently asked questions
How can I consistently pop up on someone’s FYP?
To increase your chances of appearing on someone's FYP, focus on creating engaging content, using relevant hashtags, and participating in trending challenges that align with your target audience's interests.
How can I create content that goes viral?
While there is no set formula for creating viral content, you can increase your chances by engaging in popular trends, being authentic and relatable, and experimenting with different content formats that are specific to find what resonates with your digital community.