tiktok algorithm

TikTok Algorithm 2023 – How Does TikTok Work And Why It Is So Famous

Almost everyone knows about TikTok today, isn’t it? So what to discuss about it now? Don’t worry, we are not going to discuss the recent incident about TikTok vs Youtube but then, we will uncover the secrets of this app – the TikTok algorithm, how TikTok works for getting so much popularity, so soon.

Before starting our journey, let us have a look over the basic introduction along with some interesting facts about this beloved app.


TikTok is a short-video creation app, developed by a Chinese Company ByteDance, and called as “Douyin” in China. It was officially launched in 2017 for iOS and Android, outside of China where users can create videos of fifteen to sixty seconds long. So, in other words, we can see it as a smaller version of Youtube.

This app has become the No. 1 non-gaming iOS app in the U.S. It is popular especially in the teenage demographic. With more than 2 billion downloads overall and worth more than $75 Billion, this app has become a worldwide sensation, taking social media entertainment to the next level.

After this interesting introduction, let us jump to the next step of our journey that is- Knowing the reason for its popularity.

Why So Popular?

why tiktok algorithm popular

The Features

The first thing which one would think of, seeing its popularity is its features and how TikTok works. Here we would talk about the features first. Hold on, the list is somewhat long but we have covered you all in a very precise way.

  • It’s a social media platform that lets users watch and create a variety of content, more than just lip-syncing such as comedy, dance, and many more talents.
  • Users can record short videos and post on the app and even share on other social media platforms. They can also upload ready-made videos on their account.
  • It provides a great range of editing tools and filters, a huge music library, etc there inside the app itself. It’s a complete package. So no need of going anywhere else for editing the videos.
  • Users can also stream live video broadcasts over this app. Also, this app has been made very user-friendly.
  • It offers a feature of creating duet-videos. Users can create videos and share them with a hashtag #duetwithme for making it a duet-enabled video. Others can collaborate with them and create a duet-video.
  • It helps in bringing out hidden talents from all over the world, giving them an approachable platform which can give them the name and possibly the fame.
  • Moreover, it is a commercial-friendly platform that helps companies/brands to post their ads through some influencers(having a large number of followers) or through their own accounts.
  • These sponsorships open a new source of income to the influencers. TikTok is also planning to implement the youtube approach of providing them the revenue for their videos.
  • It also has the high meme potential from its contents.

So far we have seen the various features of the so famous app TikTok. Now let us jump on to the next important topic for its popularity – The TikTok algorithm.

How Does the TikTok Algorithm Work?

how tiktok algorithm works

While going deep to know the reason behind its great features and hence the popularity, we need to understand what and how does TikTok algorithm work. So without any further due, let’s jump to the topic of how does the TikTok algorithm work. Okay so now we will see how TikTok works from the very beginning.

Engaging Users

The first step in knowing how Tiktok works lead us to the prime goal of the TikTok algorithm that is to engage the user on the app for a longer time. For this, they make sure that they show the contents/videos to the users according to their preferences and don’t let the users get bored.

This is the most vital part of how does the TikTok algorithm work as it allures you to scroll down the feeds without realizing the time-period. How do they do so? Yes! They use Machine Learning.

Use Of Machine Learning

The next step in how TikTok works includes the use of Machine learning. The TikTok algorithm uses Machine Learning for learning user behavior as well as the quality of videos. They focus basically on two key characteristics that are- the audio/music and the hashtags used.

Now for gaining the user’s preference, they track their actions on the app like the type of videos they like, share, or comment and analyze those data through Machine learning. This way they find the taste of the user and deliver more such contents.

Video Posting Technique

After analyzing which kind of data/content has to be shown to which users, the TikTok algorithm has the next focus on how to post new videos, whom should they target, and how to make the videos viral. They do it according to a strategy in a flow. It can be categorized into three sub-parts.

Where to Push?

Based on the preferences, the new videos are pushed to those specific accounts first and are shown between popular videos. The other factors which they consider for this are those accounts with a large number of followers and high ratings.

The TikTok algorithm then measures the number of likes, comments, downloads, and shares on the video. It does a ratio-check based on the data collected.

It is more likely if the ratio goes 1 like over 10 views or so, the TikTok algorithm considers it to send to more people. Here the considering point is that the higher the ratio, the higher will be the video push.

Evaluating the Push

Once done posting/pushing videos to the users, the next important step is to analyze the results. Now, this step determines the video quality based on the responses from the viewers. The TikTok algorithm has a keen focus on every single factor which can let them decide the quality-check.

They check on an average how much time the viewers gave on the video. It may be for a few seconds, half of the video, or the full video. Besides this, the TikTok algorithm also considers the number of likes, comments, and shares as mentioned above. More number of shares shows the more the number of engagements of that video.

Similarly, the more the number of contents, the better the performance. Here tagging also plays its role. Using tags, the viewer’s count automatically increases.

Ending the Push

This is the last part of the video posting. After evaluating everything, the TikTok algorithm has a clear picture of when and where the video needs to be posted next(or not). If the expected ratio has been met, that means the video will gain more viewers and hence the video will be posted at more places.

But if it is the case when the video is not getting enough views, likes, shares, and comments, etc most probably pushing that video will be down or may be stopped. There might be hope for these videos of getting pushed again if they get enough views and other factors. Now you know how TikTok works, let us go to the next section. This was all about how does the TikTok algorithm work.

Use TikTok For Business

tiktok algorithm for business

You have known and understand the way the TikTok algorithm works. Now anyone can have this thought, can they use it for earning or for a business, like on other famous social media platforms- Facebook, Instagram, and etc.

The answer is YES! why not. TikTok is commercial-friendly too rather than just being an entertainment app. Isn’t it exciting to know that people can even use TikTok for adding some bucks in their account? Let us see how does the Tiktok algorithm work for business.  

Business on this app can be done in a few ways- sometimes you do it on your own and other times it comes from somewhere else. Let us know the complete details about it.

By Being An Influencer

  • An influencer is someone who has the ability to influence the purchasing decisions of people. They use their online popularity and reputation to do so. What an influencer does is, they mention/recommend some products or brands in their videos.
  • When these brands have eyes on them, they contact you for the paid promotion of their products. But wait, that’s not all.  To get such offers from the companies, they must have some actual worth of themselves, along with a large number of followers.
  • People get attracted or pay attention to your words only if you exhibit some good values in your wok. And companies offer their ads to those people only. So an influencer should not be misunderstood with a person having only a large number of followers.

By Using Virtual Coins

The next way of earning is using virtual coins in the app. These coins are basically the virtual currency that can be used within TikTok. They can be bought in exchange for real money.

These virtual coins can be then used to buy emojis or diamonds and give someone as an appreciation or gift during live streaming to thank them for their good work.

Once the person gets enough coins worth at least $100, he/she can convert them into real cash. So if you can get those coins, you can earn real money from them.

Promoting Own Products

The above two methods were controlled by others, but the next method which we are going to discuss here is all about yours. You can also promote your business here using your own popularity along with some creativity.

The idea is quite simple. You own a business(can be of any type) or a store and use TitTok for promoting your products there. No wonder, the platform has a huge audience that will help you give wide exposure to your business.

As the video contents can be shared on other social media platforms, you can grab attention on those platforms also for your product with your videos.

By Using Affiliated links

Last but not the least, you can also earn by adding some affiliated links like Amazon Affiliate links, to your accounts. While promoting you can only showcase the products but in order to purchase from a specific place say a website, you need to give the product link right.

As you know there is no benefit of giving URLs in your videos as nobody does that much effort to type the URL on their own and get that item. So what else can be done?

One way would be to give the link in your bio as text, but you can not do the same. It isn’t allowed. In that case, you can give a simple URL that would redirect the users to your affiliate marketing page, and there you can give the affiliated links of the products.

So, these were some of the ways to do business on TikTok and make money from it. Let us have an overview of the historical journey of TikTok before closing up.

History Of TikTok

tiktok algorithm history

TikTok’s history is related to an app called Musical.ly. This app was also a video-creating platform where one could just use lip-syncing to make videos. It was acquired by a Chinese Company named ByteDance in 2017.

ByteDance used the feature of lip-syncing from Musical.ly and added many more features to finally launch what we see today as TikTok in 2017 for android and iOS devices.

TikTok came with a lot of features for creating beautiful videos in-app. It had a huge database of audio and filters, numbers of editing tools, and whatnot. Within a very short span of time, it became the new sensation of social media platforms.

In 2019, it was estimated to be worth more than $75 billion. According to last year research, it has got more than 800 million active users from all over the world.

Of course, this incredible journey was not clean and clear. With the recent controversy about TikTok Vs YouTube when its rating goes down straight from 4.6 stars to 1.5 to date, TikTok has also faced some bans.

TikTok was banned in India in April 2019 for three months because of the accusation of spreading pornographic content and exposing children to such threats. The other cases involve Indonesian Block,  Fine Charge in the US, etc.

But besides all these legal issues, we can not deny the fact that TikTok has taken social media entertainment to a whole new level. For the detailed description, you can refer to the Tiktok Wikipedia website.


TikTok is a short-video creation app, launched by a Chinese Company ByteDance in 2017 where users can create videos of fifteen to sixty seconds long. It is popular mainly in teenage demography. It offers lots of features including lots of editing tools, filters, duet-videos, live streaming videos, etc.

This app is also very commercial-friendly and can be used for business purposes by being an influencer, using virtual coins, adding affiliate links, and promoting one’s own business on the app. The reason behind its popularity other than its features is how does the TikTok algorithm work.

The TikTok algorithm mainly focuses on engaging users on the app for a longer time period with preferred content. It uses AI and Machine Learning for learning users’ behavior and analyzing which type of content has to be shown to them. It also focuses on the special technique for posting videos on the app.

The technique contains three stages where first they decide which content has to be posted where. After posting they gather the stats about the video and evaluate them whether they have to continue sharing the content for long or not. In the third stage, if the evaluation shows that it is not going as expected, the contents are stopped sharing.

TikTok’s journey has not been clean and clear as it had to face bans at several places for some of its contents. I hope you enjoyed reading the article. If you want to read more such interesting articles please refer to the other articles on SocialMirror.


Hey, I'm Neha Raj - a Software Developer by profession and a writer by passion. I write about different kinda stuffs from technologies to Reviews to Updates. I'm currently pursuing MCA from SASTRA University and in some free time, I write blogs. You can find me on different social media platforms mentioned here. :)