Master the 2024 TikTok Algorithm

In the world of social media, TikTok quickly captured our attention, with the app being downloaded more than 4.1 billion times since it first launched. The platform continues to be successful with over 1 billion people actively using the app monthly.

Similar platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram, did not reach a user base of that size until around a decade after they were founded. Many people suggest that TikTok’s popularity has continued to grow due to the personalisation of the content you are shown, known as a ‘For you page’ (FYP) which is powered by their algorithm.

 The TikTok algorithm

Algorithm on computer screen

 What is it?

TikTok itself defines its FYP algorithm as a stream of videos that are created based on your interests, making it easier to find content and creators that you love. This system recommends and delivers content to each user that is likely to be of interest to them.

This leads to no two users having the same combination of TikTok videos on their designated FYP, making it unique and giving it that highly personal feel.

The type of content you see is also constantly evolving due to the algorithm recalibrating your viewing preferences. For example, if you start interacting more with cooking videos then this sort of content will be placed on your FYP.

How it works

TikTok has not directly revealed the secrets behind how their algorithm works, however, they have explained that video recommendations are based on several factors, including:

  • Engagement: videos you like and share, comments posted, favourited videos and the videos you watch until the end.
  • User interaction: accounts you follow and the content you create and post to your page.
  • Video information: captions, sounds, and hashtags.
  • Device and account settings: language preference, country settings, and device type. (however, these have less to do with the recommendation system and more to do with the system being optimised for your performance)

Although these give a rough idea of how the algorithm works, this was released by TikTok 4 years ago.

Why the TikTok algorithm is important.

Understanding the algorithms is crucial for optimising your marketing strategy. This will unlock the potential for your content to reach a wider audience, drive engagement, and potentially go viral. This will allow you to grow your following, connect with your target audience more effectively and ultimately enhance your online presence. 

The importance of TikTok trends and the algorithm 

TikTok trends are videos containing anything from a popular song or hashtag to a dance challenge that people are participating in, and the platform is largely based on trending videos and challenges.

Despite originally being used by just influencers, many brands are now jumping into action and participating in trends too.

Trends can quickly go viral as a large number of users engage with similar content, pushing it onto others’ FYP. Participating in popular challenges and using trending sounds or hashtags boosts visibility, increasing the chance of being noticed by the algorithm and placed onto people's FYP.

Researching trending topics and hashtags will help creators tailor their content to fulfil people’s current interests.

In March 2023 the TikTok sound ‘Your joking’ was used in a trend where you explain a situation that is so shocking that it ‘must’ be a joke!

However, it is important to note that not every video will go viral, even if you are participating in a trend, and it is still important to stay on brand to increase the chances of brand recognition and brand loyalty.

The power of attention-grabbing intros on TikTok

 Person on computer watching a social media video

The TikTok algorithm prioritises videos that capture users’ attention for longer durations. If a video is watched for the whole duration, or multiple times it is more likely to go viral and land on users FYP.

With this being key in the TikTok algorithm, it is important to catch your viewer’s attention within the first few seconds. Giving your viewers a reason to watch your videos with an engaging intro and maintaining relevance throughout the video encourages viewers to watch until the end and will increase your possibility of going viral with the algorithm.

TikTok is testing your videos…

TikTok is known to have a crucial ‘test’ that your video must pass to go viral. Once you post your content, the app places your video on a small group of users FYP, who the algorithm believes will like your content based on hashtags, sounds, captions etc.

If your video performs well and is viewed for the whole duration by the majority of the ‘test group’, and they like or comment, then the TikTok algorithm will then show your video to a larger audience.

Consistency is key for TikTok!


The TikTok algorithm favours consistent creators, and regular uploads increase your chances of being recognised by the TikTok algorithm. This recognition may result in increased visibility, leading to higher engagement on posts and a growth in followers.

Consistently appearing on your target audience's feed with trustworthy and useful content gives the message that you’re reliable and invested in providing content that values them.

Don’t make this mistake with the TikTok algorithm!

Many creators and businesses make the mistake of posting a few videos and then stopping because they don’t perform well. If you aren’t posting video’s then the algorithm can’t push your content out!

You’ll start to see results organically when you commit to the platform and post multiple times a day/week over a longer period.

Is the TikTok algorithm just trial and error?

Despite there being many tips and tricks for beating TikTok’s algorithm, these still aren’t guaranteed to make your videos go viral!

Experimenting with different video lengths, visual effects and sounds whilst analysing analytics will help you to fully understand what captures your viewers’ attention and what they are most likely to engage with.

This then allows you to adapt your TikTok marketing strategy, which is essential for continuous growth on TikTok.

In a nutshell…

TikTok frequently updates its algorithm to improve user experience, therefore we cannot guarantee that you will go viral every time you think you have cracked the code.

However, understanding some key points about the algorithm can allow you to effectively navigate the platform. Focusing on increasing engagement, participating in trends, and staying consistent will increase your chances of reaching a wider audience on the platform.

Ready to kickstart your TikTok journey but unsure of where to start? Talk to our social team today!

Friday 5th April 2024

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