After my previous TikTok story that I have posed yesterday in which I explained that from now I going to focus on providing answers to TikTok related questions, I remembered that one of the most common questions that I get is:

How Does The TikTok Algorithm Work

Now, before I answer this question I want to make it clear that TikTok didn’t share with me how the Algorithm exactly works, so I am only basing my answer on my own personal experience after publishing hundreds of videos on TikTok.

The TikTok Algorithm is very much like a child.

It constantly learning more about the TikTok users by monitoring their actions.

It constantly checks:

  • What topics they are interested in.
  • Which videos they like, comment, and share.
  • Which creators they follow.
  • And much more…

All this data is gathered by the Algorithm in order to create a profile about the user.

The reason that the Algorithm creates a profile about the user is that this profile will increase TikTok chances of keeping the user on the app.

If you understand this concept not only theoretically, but deeply, then you will have the best chance of being successful on TikTok.

The whole aim of TikTok is to increase the time that users spend on their app, and if you help TikTok achieve what they want, they will help you to achieve what you want — which is to get more exposure.

So, the question that you will want to ask yourself now is not:

How to Cheat the Tiktok Algorithm (this is a question that may people ask me)


How to HELP Tiktok achieve their goal of increasing the time that users stay on their app.

You do it by creating the types of videos that the TikTok users want to see.

We need to remember that TikTok users are TikTok users, and are not YouTube users or Instagram users, for example.

They are younger (usually 13–24 years old), and thus usually have a much shorter attention span.

So, you can’t just upload a video from your YouTube or Instagram account as is directly into TikTok, but rather you need to edit it to make it appealing for the young TikTok Users.

So, the next question that we need to ask ourselves now is:

What does the young TikTok audience want to see?

They want to see videos that will not bore them.

Now, how do you create videos that are not boring?

Even if your videos are boring from their core, there are still many ways to make them exciting.

But the most important thing that you should do right now is to reduce your video length.

I reduced the video length from 60 seconds (when I first started) to 15, 8, and sometimes 5 seconds.

Not only does this increase the chances of people seeing your videos from start to end, but it can also make your videos much more exciting.

The videos become more exciting because shortening the videos makes you focus on the highlights of the videos rather than the fluff.

It reminds me of movies that I saw, when one of the characters in the movie was trying to write a telegram (the old one, not the new one) for the post office.

In those old fashion telegrams you were charged for each word you wrote.

So, the movie character really needed to take some time to think about what are the most important points that he / she wanted to write in the message,

We need to have the same way of thinking as TikTok creators.

Meaning, creating videos which are around 15 seconds in length, and which contain the exiting parts of the entire videos.

You can also think of your TikTok videos as though they were movie trailer.

In movie trailers they take a 90 minutes movie, for example, and condense it to to around 2 minutes.

The 2 minutes clip shows the best parts of the movie, and we need to do the same by just including the best parts of our footage.

The more interesting you can make your videos the greater the chances the TikTok users will like them, comment on them, share them, see them until their end, watch them a few times over, and follow you to see your future videos.

The TikTok Algorithm is always hiding in the background, and it keeps evaluating the engagement that you get on your videos.

Tiktok Algorithm 2020: How Does It Work EXACTLY?

In 2020, the TikTok Algorithm works as follows.

When you publish a video on TikTok, the TikTok Algorithm sends this video to a small group of users (imagine a focus group).

Then the TikTok Algorithm monitors the engagement that you get on your videos, and if you get enough engagement, then TikTok will send your video to a bigger focus group, and will again check the engagement, and if it will like the engagement again, your video will be shows to a bigger focus group, and so on…

As you can see TikTok is not in the game of taking unnecessary risks.

It will not risk showing a huge group of people your video if the initial tiny group of people didn’t engage well with your video.

You see every time that TikTok shows a boring video to one of its users it is taking the risk, that this TikTok user will get frustrated with app, close it, delete it, and move to another social plaform.

I remember that I once only used the Yahoo search engine, but then when I saw that Yahoo didn’t give me relevant results for my search queries, I stopped using Yahoo search engine and started to use the Google search engine instead.

Many people did as I did, and no now Google is the most popular search engine in the world…by far even though the Yahoo search engine was there before.

So, TikTok wants to give its users content this is relevant and exciting.

The more relevant and exciting content they show to their users in their feed, the more users will spend time on the app, the more ad space TikTok will be able to sell to advertisers for more money — Win Win Win situation.

What is Considered Good Engagement

So as I said it is important that each “focus group” will engage enough with your video for your video to move to a bigger “focus group”.

TikTok didn’t share with me what they consider enough engagement in order to move from group to group, and they also didn’t share with me if they value one kind of engagement (such as Likes) over than another kind of engagement (such as Comments).

So, again I can only share with you my opinion, and you can test it out for yourself and come to your own conclusions.

I believe that watch time is the most important factor with regard to how much views you will get.

Meaning, if you get a user to watch your video from start to finish it’s great, and if this user watches your videos a few times over it is even better.

Then shares.
Then comments.
Then lastly likes.

I heard many people online that are also doing well on TikTok, but think completely different, I appreciate their point of views, but at the end of the day no one knows for sure.

I suggest that you keep testing by publishing new videos, and simply see what works best for you.


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