How Tik-Tok algorithms work in 2020

Tik-Tok has become popular in many ways thanks to its algorithms, which make it possible to get * twenty thousand, or even millions of views “just like that” (spoiler alert: not easy). Everyone wants to know on what principle this social network works, and how to “hack” Tik-Tok in order to become a leader, given that there are already millions of equally ambitious users there, and they want the same thing as you?

In this article, we will tell you how the algorithms work, what has changed in 2020 and what to prepare for, entering into an unequal battle with this social network.

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How Tik-Tok algorithms work in 2020

It is worth making a reservation right away – no one, nowhere and will ever give out absolutely all the secrets of the algorithms, only those who created these algorithms know such information. But what do we know for sure:

  • the content is checked by artificial intelligence (the real one simply cannot withstand so many lipsticks, dances and challenges);
  • algorithms change quite often (to give nerves to TikTokers so that you constantly improve);
  • the further, the more difficult it is to advance – a year ago it was possible to become a millionaire on lipstick, and now it is necessary to remove the application nafig work harder;
  • everyone is given the first views, but it’s too early to rejoice.

Let’s go through the key aspects.

New account

What can beginners expect? Imagine a cheetah watching an antelope – it just waits for it to make a mistake in order to quickly pounce and … well, you get the idea. Tik-Tok looks at you about the same when you first go there in the hope of collecting “milen subscribers per night.”

Every little thing is tracked on the recruits’ accounts:

  • content content – what or who is depicted in the frame, what objects are there, whether parts of the video from video to video are repeated;
  • observance of copyright – are there any fragments of other people’s videos in the video;
  • shooting method – on the phone camera, screen capture, laptop screen capture, animation;
  • using the editor – where the video is edited: in the TT editor or in another, whether filters are used.
  • music – how much trendy music, own or from the TT library.
  • words and description for the video;
  • hashtags;
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PS Everything described is tracked in general on all accounts, but the content of newcomers is studied especially closely, and here any mistake can be hacked to the root of all undertakings.

In order not to run into trouble for some toy knife in the frame – study the length and breadth of the Tik-Tok rules. True, like any social network, it has its own “unspoken rules”, for example:

– the account should have no more than 30% of the borrowed content, but it is better without it at all;

– TT prefers clips shot and edited in its editor – if you edit in another program, then at least overlay one filter, music from the library or text in the built-in editor;

– TT promotes videos with live people in the frame – yes, there are videos with animation or screen capture, but there are very few of them and, basically, these are official accounts like the Fortnite game account;

– do not make a splash screen with a call to subscribe at the end of the video, as they do on YouTube – TT will calculate this by repeating fragments (like you copy yourself).

No, for misses your account will hardly be deleted (you need to try very hard to get to this), but a shadow ban on a 5-6 video is a very real prospect. Knocking on technical support is useless – they will not answer at the other end.

It turns out something like a trial period – if you hold out on the first videos and show the result, it will be easier further. And here it is very (well, just VERY) important how your first videos will go, what the first views and interactions will be.

Advice: if you shot several videos in reserve and post them according to the principle “worse at first, and tasty for later” – this is a failure strategy, since it may not come to tasty. Upload the coolest engaging videos right away so that subscribers like and comment on you, and Tik-Tok understands that you are a superstar, and you need to move you further.

First views

How does a social network give first views? Initially, everyone is given the first views, but suspicions creep in that part of it is winding up the program itself (that is, some% of views from come from TT bots).

Fact: the first two videos of the account cost 592 and 593 views. Coincidence? I don’t think so!

So, the first 2 videos get 500-600 views. Subsequent up to 100. Then views go like an avalanche and depend on the first interactions – if on the first 50-100 views there were likes, comments, reposts and subscriptions, then they give another 100-200 views and so on in ascending order. At a certain point, a video can shoot several thousand if it showed a good interaction coefficient in the first 100-300 views. Actually, the further fate of the video depends on this – will it stay in the recommendations and will it get there again.

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Fact: if you stop uploading videos, then views on all videos stop. But if you start uploading again, then along with the new video, views on the old ones begin to catch up. With this trick, Tik-Tok encourages Tiktokers not to stop and regularly generate new content, as there is a kind of dependence on the number of views.

Exit to recommendation

So, the general principle of Tik-Tok algorithms (what it looks at when ranking) can be fit in 9 lines:

  • likes under the video;
  • comments;
  • reposts;
  • duration of video viewing;
  • go to the profile after watching the video in order to watch other videos of the author;
  • subscription after watching the video;
  • sounds;
  • hashtags;
  • description

Everything revolves around these indicators. Let’s say the video was watched by 10 people, 5 of them liked, 2 wrote a comment, 3 repost and 1 subscribed. For TT, this is an indicator that the video is interesting, and he will promote it. Another example – the video got 100 views, 2 likes, 0 reposts and comments, recommendations for such a video do not shine.

What an author can do is only to influence engagement rates, that is, to make viewers want to be active. For this you need:

  • shoot with trending music and hashtags;
  • use filters, effects and masks;
  • come up with your own unique chips, by which you will be recognized and specially looked for in Tik-Tok;
  • involve from the first seconds;
  • post new videos regularly;
  • release serial content;
  • make videos with an unpredictable plot.

Advice: if you take a trendy idea, shoot it in your own style, for example, everyone repeats the same movement one after another to the track, and you come up with your own dance.

Everyone is filming a video about how “my mother hears strange sounds at 3 am, while I’m talking to a friend” (hashtag #whisper):

@__ kosmosstars__ Check lp лINST: __kosmosstars__ 💖Can I get a subscription from you? ❤️ ♬ original sound – ericjxhnsxn

And this guy made a video about talking rice:

@ thekingofweird😂👂🏾

♬ original sound – ericjxhnsxn

Sticking to the rules from the list above will help you get into and stay in recommendations more often.

Fact: Tik-Tok shows the user 8 different videos when he enters the application. Which videos will be shown next – depends on how the viewer interacted with the first 8. That is, the feed is constantly adjusting to the interests of the user.

Help Articles:

Ranking in TOPs by hashtags, clips, effects

The principle is the same here. Let’s say one author came up with a new hashtag and a million videos were shot with it. The hashtag hit the TOP, and now Tik-Tok itself is promoting it. Authors in this top are ranked according to the same 6 indicators – whoever has a higher total engagement rate for a specific video and profile is at the top of the top for hashtags. It’s the same with clips and effects.

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Moreover, if you are the author of a trending track, your video will be marked as the original and will be at the very top of the list of clips with this sound.

How the new Tik-Tok algorithms work after the changes

Constant changes

As we already said, the algorithms are constantly changing, while the social network does not announce changes in any way – they can only be seen from our own experience.


  1. In 2019, Tik-Tok gave views to all videos in the first hour – in 2020, the first views may appear in a few hours or a day.
  2. Previously, the video gained views and did not move further, now if you regularly upload new videos, then the old ones are also pulled up by views.
  3. Tiktokers constantly complain about the sudden drop in views for no apparent reason, and this has happened more than once. It is difficult to say what exactly leads to a sharp drop in statistics – testing new Tik-Tok algorithms or increasing competition. Usually in such cases it is advised not to panic and calmly upload new videos.
  4. In 2019, only selected millionaire tiktokers could get the opportunity to put a link in the profile, in 2020 a link entry window may appear even if you have 10,000 subscribers, although it is still not clear on what basis this function is added to your account.
  5. In 2020, some of the music tracks were made inaccessible for use by corporate accounts – the copyright holders closed the ability to play their tracks without paying royalties. This innovation has not yet affected ordinary users.



  • beginners need to hold out for the first 10-20 videos;
  • first you need to post the most engaging content in order to immediately interest viewers and show Tik-Tok that you need to be promoted;
  • the first 5 videos are sure to receive views, then they grow like an avalanche depending on how users react to them;
  • you need to regularly upload new content so that views do not stop.

Tik-Tok algorithms revolve around the engagement rate and your task, as an author, is to influence this rate. The trouble is that Tik-Tok is constantly experimenting with algorithms without informing users – this factor of surprise does not play into the hands of the authors, they often find out about the changes after the fact.

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