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When you open TikTok, how many recommended videos do you watch? Are these recommendations the right ones? Like all social media networks, TikTok uses an algorithm to recommend personalized content to each user. With TikTok, these selections are made available on "Recommendations for You". Although the algorithm is known for its accuracy, U.S. regulators are concerned about it.

U.S. officials are concerned that the Chinese-owned app may be using its algorithm to manipulate suggested content and using the information collected to monitor content. TikTok has promised regulators some level of oversight of its recommendation algorithm and has asked third parties to review its algorithm for any manipulation. TikTok hopes its efforts to increase transparency will ease tensions and calm fears that have sparked U.S. legislation that would result in an outright ban on the social media app.

How does the TikTok algorithm recommend content?

According to TikTok's official explanation, its recommendation algorithm is designed to observe and quantify the following data.

User Interaction

The algorithm tracks data about the user's interaction with the video. If the user responds positively by commenting, liking, following or watching the entire video, similar relevant content is recommended.

Similarities between video and messaging

TikTok's algorithm scans content and identifies similarities. More specifically, the algorithm is looking for common audio tracks, sounds, subject tags and subtitles.

For example, remember when #CornKid went viral? An interview with a boy who liked corn on the cob went viral and turned into a song. Over the next few days and weeks, hundreds of creators used the song in their own clips.

The algorithm identifies audio tracks and subject tags and recommends them to anyone who is interested in having seen such content.

Device Settings

TikTok also looks at device settings to get basic information such as the user's location or preferred language. For privacy reasons, TikTok says these settings are not heavily incorporated into the algorithm.

6 Tips for Expanding TikTOk Content Exposure

TikTok's algorithm has become the hottest topic, but the channel is still an effective option for brands and weblebrities to pick up and collaborate to reach their audience. If you want to expand your reach, use these algorithmic recommendation tips.

Make shorter videos to increase viewing time

As mentioned earlier, TikTok's algorithm tracks viewing time. If followers watch the video from start to finish, this is a positive indicator to the algorithm that more of your content may be shared with users.

TikTok is also booming with short video clips, so you should pay attention to the length of the content when making video content.

Interact with similar content

Help the algorithm understand who you are by interacting with similar content. For example, if you are a skincare brand partnering with an online celebrity to produce marketing content, consider watching, liking and commenting on similar content or users' content to wade through your niche. 

Respond to your fans

You'll earn points algorithmically for interacting with your audience, so don't let comments go unanswered. You're trying to create a TikTok community where ideas can be shared and exchanged. Focus on two-way communication rather than single-posted content.

Use TikTok's tools to improve shareability

Want the algorithm to take notice of your content? If a group of people start sharing it, the algorithm will take notice. Sounds simple enough, but how do you get fans to share it? Yes, you need to create interesting and engaging videos, but you should also take advantage of the tools TikTok offers by.

  • Add text to your video, even if it's just a title
  • Create videos that work without sound
  • Check automatic subtitles to ensure correct translation

Keep up with popular topics

When new trends appear on TikTok, be sure to keep an eye out and consider creating a related topic. On the side of TikTok mentions, you'll see a list of trending hashtags. You can start your topic strategy from there by researching a hashtag or two, finding a niche topic that works for you and creating videos using that hashtag.

You can do something similar with popular music by searching for "Viral Audio" and selecting the "Audio" tab. You will see a list of popular tracks and use in your video.

Building long-term partnerships

One of the best ways to expand your reach is through partnerships. When a brand partners with an influential online celebrity, the brand exposure and fan reach can be huge.

Research shows that millennials are moving away from traditional search engines like Google and Bing and instead searching for their interests on social media. As consumers make this shift, a strong social media presence and long-term partnerships between online KOLs and brands will drive influence and engagement.

Whether you're a creator or a brand, it's important to understand TikTok's ever-changing legislative issues, but it's also important to focus on your TikTok marketing strategy. By understanding how the algorithm works, you can use this knowledge to better serve your audience.


IZEA Worldwide, Inc. ("IZEA") is a marketing technology company that provides software and professional services that enable brands to collaborate and transact with the full range of today's socially influential online KOLs and content creators. The company is a pioneer in the evolving commercialization of content, enabling self-publishers to create value through their content, creativity and influence. IZEA launched the industry's first influencer content marketing platform in 2006 and has since facilitated nearly 4 million transactions between online brand buyers and influencer content creators. Leading brands and agencies worldwide have partnered with IZEA to drive social media engagement rates, diversify brand voice, expand content production and drive measurable return on investment.

IZEA's influencer marketing software and full-service solutions are trusted by the world's leading brands to find the right solution for you. Contact Us


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