Social Media

How Does The TikTok Algorithm Work in 2023?

How to land on TikTok's For You Page, plus some hacks you need to go viral on TikTok in 2023

Shitika Anand
February 28, 2023
3 min

Here's everything you need to know about the TikTok algorithm in 2023.

There are multiple factors that influence how TikTok's algorithm serves your content to your followers. Before we get started, we will say this, your job as a creator is to create the best content on social media. Worrying about how the algorithm works is not your priority. But you also need to understand how it's serving your content and what you can do to stand out from the crowd on TikTok.

Here are the top 4 things that impact the For You Page on TikTok: User activity, video subject, location and language, audio, and “Not Interested” feedback.

1. User Activity

The more engagement and views a TikTok video receives, the more likely it will be served to larger audiences. Things that are positive indicators here include:

  • Likes
  • Comments
  • Shares
  • Rewatching the video, or completing the entire thing.
  • Did the user follow you back?

2. Subject Matter (What's in the video?)

TikTok understands your content really well, so it knows when you've made a fashion video, or a beauty video, or even a reaction video based on an event. So this subject matter is an important factor when it comes to reach potential on the app. This includes: 

  • Caption keywords
  • Sounds used
  • Hashtags used
  • Effects used
  • Content (i.e video transcripts)

3. Location and Language

The algorithm recognizes the location and language of the user when deciding who may be interested in a video. These include:

  • Posting location
  • Language preferences

4. Audio

When a video includes a trending sound or song, the algorithm will use this to categorize your content and serve it to relevant audiences. This is always a great way to reach new audience, because you will land on other people's FYPs if you're using a viral audio.

Here are some of the latest sounds you can use.

5. "Not Interested" Feedback

TikTok's algorithm is always trying to serve high-interest videos to every user, so it knows if you're not interested in something, it won't show you any more content that relates to it. These include: 

  • Videos you've marked as "Not Interested"
  • Users you've hidden
  • Videos you skip through

All these factors work towardsTikTok’s recommendation system -- with some indicators being more important than others -- so this means every user's For You page is completely unique. There are no two FYPs that look the same.

Now there are also some videos and content that TikTok won't recommend. According to the platform, "Provided that it does not violate local laws, the following types of content may be allowed on our platform, searchable, and viewed in Following feeds but not eligible for recommendation."

Such content includes:

  • Minor safety
  • Dangerous sports and stunts
  • Overtly sexualized content
  • Tobacco and alcohol products
  • Violent and graphic content
  • Spam, inauthentic, or misleading content
  • Unoriginal, low-quality, and QR code content

So, in order to avoid the algorithm flagging your content, as a creator you need to follow the community and app guidelines.

Here are 3 hacks you need to create the best content that works on TikTok and go viral: 

  1. Hook your audience in the first three seconds. These are called 'hooks' for a reason. People browsing TikTok find it easier to watch videos that are easy-to-digest, have a seamless loop, and get to the point to aid to everyone's short attention span. When videos have an intriguing hook, viewers will most likely watch till the end — or even on repeat. This type of user engagement signals to the algorithm that people are enjoying the content and as a result, it should be shared to more users.
  2. Use a trending sound. Scroll through TikTok to see if there are any repeated songs or audio clips that keep coming up. If you think a clip is trending, tap on the audio to see how many users have created videos with the sound. You can also check the "TikTok Viral" tab via the video editor. Select "Sounds" to browse the latest trending audio.
  3. Create accessible content. This means add on-screen text and captions to your videos.

Follow us on TikTok for more hacks and tips.