Zach King's Harry Potter illusion video gained 2.2 billion views awarding him the title for the most viewed TikTok of all time. People everywhere found themselves fascinated by his video where he shares how he found a way to be a wizard even though his application to Hogwarts was rejected.
As a culture, we are attracted to the unexpected and random nature of this type of content which is fresh and never boring.
<Insert Zach King’s TikTok video or screenshot here>
Today everyone is going nuts over these bite-sized video clips infused with unique sounds, popular music, and filters. TikTok, which has been rapidly growing in popularity since its inception in September of 2016–reaching 1.2 billion active monthly users in 2021–is now dominating social media. Teenagers and adults alike have become addicted to watching these interactive videos, which leaves you wondering—what is the science behind this fascinating social giant?
The TikTok algorithm is not as mysterious as it may seem. There are many factors that come into play such as hashtags, location, music choices, and previously “liked” videos. So how are videos selected that are specifically targeted for you in the ever-popular #ForYou feed? According to TikTok, the system recommends content by ranking videos based on factors such as things you have expressed interest in.
As explained by TikTok:
"When you open TikTok and land in your ForYou feed, you're presented with a stream of videos curated to your interests, making it easy to find content and creators you love. This feed is powered by a recommendation system that delivers content to each user that is likely to be of interest to that particular user."
According to the consumer tech and lifestyle communications agency Ranieri, TikTok is using machine learning to evaluate the quality of every video uploaded. Because TikTok only shows videos to a small number of users, the users don’t get bored. The algorithm measures how much a video is watched, as well as how many likes, comments, and shares it gets, and the viral videos hook in users and make them want to watch more.
Some of the main factors that define which of these videos users see in their feed include:
According to Hootsuite, the following are some of the key tips that you should incorporate into video making that will increase your engagement, followers, and ranking:
Most importantly, make sure that you are using the correct hashtags that are trending.
The TikTok algorithm is designed to ultimately show you more of the content that you like because it’s based on your activity and interests. Although it is not an exact science, marketers may be able to better maximize their videos by having a greater understanding of how the platform works. According to Social Media Today, it is essential to note that videos count independently. Aligning with trending interests helps you connect with more users, as well as having viewers watch your video clips to completion.
TikTok has become enormously successful because people feed off of trends. It’s easy and convenient to use and can appeal to almost anyone--even those with a short attention span. Influencer Marketing statistics have shown that TikTok currently has the highest follower engagement rates per post than any other social platform. With those types of metrics, it will be exciting to see how the TikTok algorithm continues to grow and change as new behaviors are learned from the app.
Learn more about how UNUM can help you increase your TikTok social engagement and optimize your analytics.
Kim is a seasoned content marketing professional with twelve years of corporate communications experience. Her sweet spot is with creative writing both short and long-form, and she has a proven track record working with IBM, Jackson Healthcare, and Walt Disney World, among many others. Kim is also a singer and actress and has been performing on stage and screen her entire life and has a great passion for TV and film production.