TikTok Algorithm – Go viral on TikTok by understanding it (2020)

Understand how the TikTok algorithm works and tailor your video to go through the different steps. Go viral in 2020 and become TikTok famous.

The TikTok Algorithm

The TikTok algorithm will highlight new creators. TikTok wants everyone to create on the platform so they have an incentive to help the person starting out. Let’s take a look at how it works.

If you have a minute, have a look at Adobe Rush for better and easier video editing.

How Does the TikTok Algorithm Work?

The TikTok algorithm applies machine learning to determine the quality of a video and who would like to see it. Here’s the best information we found while researching.

When you post a new video to TikTok. There are 4 possible stages it has to go through to go viral.

Phase 1 – During the first 2 hours

  • The platform will display the post to a few users (300 – 500), amid popular posts.
  • The algorithm measures completion rate, average time spent, likes, shares, views, comments and follows.
  • Completion rate and average time spent (watching) are the most important at this stage.

Why the focus on these parameters? Because the views, followers, likes and comments can be manipulated more easily.

Phase 2 – Target audience

  • The number of views in this stage are dependent on Stage 1
  • These viewers will be people watching and posting content with similar tags.
  • The algorithm measures completion rate, average time spent, likes, shares, views, comments and follows.
  • Now the AI checks the video for profanity/copyright/inappropriate content.

Phase 3 – Even wider audience

  • If you pass stage 2 the video will be shown to 10K – 500k viewers.
  • Depending on how well your video perfomed in phase 2 your video will be shown to a larger or smaller number of viewers.
  • If your video performs well you’re up for the manual check.

Phase 4 – Viral

  • TikTok manually checks your video and if they like it:
  • Congratulations, you’re going viral.

TikTok No views

If you’re not getting views on your videos you can see have a look at this post.


With this in mind you can have a checklist once you create a video (or even create an account) on how you’re going to pass the different stages. For example, your video can be quite niche to get the maximum impact in phase 2, but at the same time it needs to be broad enough to pass phase 1. Great content usually wins in the end, so just keep trying and learning.

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