How does the TikTok algorithm work?

September 15, 2021
Posted by
Creed Media

TikTok is known as one of the most well-curated social media platforms bringing you the content best suited for your needs and wants. It is also the reason why so many new break-out-stars have had the chance to reach the spotlight. So, what is it that makes the TikTok algorithm unique and how does it work?

Have you ever found yourself scrolling and scrolling and scrolling and just like that half your day is gone? And what do you have to show for it? Well, at least your TikTok finger got a good exercise, right? Well, it also means that the TikTok algorithm is working its magic. And what magic it is.

Probably the closest thing you’ll ever get to a Tamagotchi the TikTok algorithm was recently revealed to be a concoction of the hashtags you use, your location, your music choices, and all the TikTok videos you like. They all feed and keep the algorithm growing becoming better adjusted to what you prefer watching.

The For You page

If you want to find new interesting and entertaining content, then the For You page might be one of the best places to start on TikTok. Specific and accurately curated content just for you thanks to you.

Last year TikTok revealed that the content in the For You page is selected based on three different factors. The first one is user interaction meaning the videos that you like, share, or accounts that you follow as well as comments you post and content you create. The second factor is video information. That is captions, sounds, and hashtags. Last but not least the algorithm takes a look at your device and sounds settings which means your language preferences, country setting, and device type.

Now that is a lot of information to gather but each of these factors affects the recommendations you see on your For You page. This means it’s also the way it works for other TikTok users and therefore is the place you want your content to end up. Now what? How does this help you?

Besides curating your own feed understanding how to work the algorithm might be quite useful in your profession, at least if you want to make TikTok work for your brand. Having one of those you probably want those likes, comments, and views, no? Then you better keep reading.


Using trending hashtags is always a good idea. Keep an eye out for those under the Discover Tab or just type the ones you have in mind to see how well they perform (just like on Instagram). And while it might not guarantee you a spot on the For You page using #ForYou, #ForYouPage, and #FYP to tag your content can increase your chances to reach that



Keep it short and sweet. Unlike on Facebook and Instagram, you want to avoid too-long captions on TikTok. Besides short it should be related to the content that you’re posting, be easy to understand, and yeah, entertaining if possible. I mean, who doesn’t like to be entertained? A suggestion is to try and engage your followers by asking a question. Don’t forget to answer the comments that you get to really maximize the potential of your content.

Trending songs and sounds

That’s right, even music and sounds can trend on TikTok. That’s what makes it so very brilliant. Apart from “collecting” sounds by adding them to your favorites you’ll find popular and trending sounds in the TikTok Video Editor.  

If you have a TikTok Pro account, you can hit the Followers tab under the Analytics and find the most popular sounds that your audience has listened to over the last week. There you go, a playlist with perfect sounds and music for your content.

Time your audience

This one is quite easy to understand and luckily TikTok Analytics is somewhat of a Holy Grail when it comes to your audience. For example, knowing when they are active on TikTok… I mean, why post when no one there to see your content?

Video content and editing

Now you have the perfect caption, the perfect song as well as the perfect timing to make your content fly high. It’s just as important to perfect your own videos. Here’s where it gets a bit more challenging at least when it comes to creativity. Take a sneak peek at the videos that you like and go back to them. If you are doing it then others are doing the same and trust me when I say that TikTok is monitoring every digital step you guys make. Once you have a great video concept go for it.


It might not be as important as the points we’ve already listed but your location has a big future potential when it comes to lifting your content. Many predict that TikTok will provide more local content to followers which makes it so important to tag your content with your location.

Now that you’ve reached the end of this article it should be obvious that you don’t need to have thousands of followers to get viral on TikTok. Just learn to use the algorithm. What are you waiting for?