The TikTok Algorithm
Jonathan Rodriguez
June 24, 2021

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The year is 2021, and many businesses are jumping on the TikTok platform to market their business. It provides businesses a great way to reach their target audience, especially if their target audience is young adults. Many of the videos on TikTok are short snippets of around 16 seconds or less, so videos must be engaging and easy to follow for people to absorb the information.

The thing to keep in mind, like other social media platforms, is that TikTok has an algorithm that it uses to get videos seen by other people. That means certain criteria must be met for a video’s chances to reach a certain audience. This is especially important for a business that is looking to target a specific audience with its videos. Let us dive into the relatively new and arguably misunderstood TikTok Algorithm. 

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What Is The TikTok Algorithm?

The TikTok algorithm is still one that is relatively new in terms of getting to understand it. The creators have said that TikTok utilizes certain video elements to rank videos based on how they look. To put it in simple terms, the TikTok algorithm is the system set in TikTok that factors in certain elements to get videos to different users. Here’s how the best-ranked videos are measured: video length, hashtags, accounts followed, shares, trending effects, and filters.

Video Length

Most videos on the TikTok platform are usually around 16 seconds in length. Any more than that, those videos get a massive drop-off in engagement. Many businesses don’t know that most videos are around or under 16 seconds in length, which can be detrimental if you are looking to drive some engagement to your videos.

Not knowing how long the average video is can be detrimental to your business. Many businesses might be recording videos that are longer than average and might not realize that their engagement rates are suffering because of the length. Take the time to ensure that your videos are around 16 seconds in length, or risk losing user engagement. 


Surprise surprise! Hashtags, once again, play a role in who receives the video on their For You page. Just like on Instagram, hashtags are meant to provide more details about what the video is about, but they also help TikTok’s algorithm determine which people will be interested in the video. 

The hashtags are used as sort of a recommendation feature for videos. For example, say you created a video tailored around the idea of baking cookies. You might use the hashtags “cookies” and “baking.” With these hashtags inputted, the algorithm will send your video to people who likely view cookie and baking videos. Because of this, you can reach a more targeted audience with the right captions.

Accounts Followed

The accounts that people follow are another element that is factored into the TikTok algorithm. Just like other social media platforms, TikTok will push content that is similar and relevant to the type of accounts you follow. For example, if you follow a lot of fitness-related accounts on the platform, you will likely see a lot of fitness-centered content on your “for you” page. 

To take advantage of this part of the TikTok algorithm, you must make sure that you have a clearly defined audience. The reason for this is to assure that your videos can reach that target audience. If your videos aren’t relevant to accounts you follow, then you might lack the necessary expenses. 


Of course, one of the most crucial elements in making a video go viral is the number of shares that it receives. Sharing on TikTok usually means sending a video to someone so they can view that video. The more shares that a video accumulates, the more attention it gets from the TikTok Algorithm. This eventually leads to the video getting a lot of visibility and being pushed to a wider audience since it is deemed as a popular video. 

To further increase the chances of your video becoming viral, consider having your team share your TikTok content going forward. Let them share it with their family and friends to go and get things going. With any luck and engagement, your Tik Tok video could have the chance of going viral, which means more brand awareness for it as well. 

Trending Effects and Filters 

A very common thing you see on viral TikTok videos is the usage of certain filters and effects. Some effects are used by TikTok creators to great effect. They get a lot of shares and engagements and then they eventually go viral. Of course, they have their twists on each of these effects which turns them into challenges. If you partake in using these effects or filters then you may be increasing your chances of going viral.

The effects and filters that your business can use vary depending on whether or not you can utilize them successfully. Some effects and filters you can probably use to some degree of success, but usually, that may not be the case if they aren’t relevant to your business. Fortunately, there are many effects and filters at your disposal that you can utilize. Just find out which one your business can capitalize on to successfully do that. 

Just like any other algorithm, TikTok takes into account many different factors to help push a video toward a certain user. Depending on your TikTok marketing strategy, you might be more interested in certain factors over others. It just depends on who your audience is and how you plan to reach out to them. That is why you must dedicate a strategy toward TikTok to take advantage of the benefits it can provide from using it as effectively as possible.  

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Understand The Algorithm

The TikTok algorithm is still relatively new in regard to other social media platforms, but it still is good to get a better understanding of how it works. Many businesses don’t know how it works, so they create content that doesn’t deliver the desired results and they wonder why it hasn’t gotten what they wanted. Dive into the algorithm a bit and you may surprise yourself with the results you can get from understanding it.  

Interested in checking out other algorithms for a variety of platforms? Check out our blog diving into Instagram’s algorithm and how you can benefit!

Looking for help with generating some more brand awareness for your business? Then contact us here if you are interested in receiving that help. Here at WunderTRE, we offer different solutions depending on what you need help with.

Make use of our marketing industry knowledge to meet your business goals.

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