TikTok Algorithm 2019

TikTok Algorithm 2019 How The Algorithm Works

Let’s start with the basics of the algorithm, then to the flow that a video goes through when posted, and end with tips to create more viral videos. Here is the outline of these sections:

  1. How the TikTok Algorithm Works

Before we discuss cracking the algorithm, let’s go over the TikTok basics. TikToks main objective is to keep users on the app as long as possible, so they focus heavily on showing the right videos to the right users. For this reason, we refer to the TikTok algorithm as the Matching Engine. The engine take the video classification and show it to users with preferences similar to those classifications.

Video classification is defined by two key characteristics:

  1. The music / audio

The users’ preference is determined by tracking their actions on previously seen videos:


To see how the videos are classified and how the user’s actions factor into the Matching Engine, let’s go over a scenario. If a user “likes” only videos using a particular song and has a text description of “cats”, then the algorithm will try to match videos with those characteristics to those users. The more time the users are on the app, the more the algorithm will narrow down their preference.

1. Post Video

This is the first stage that defines the video reach. Based on the video classifications, the algorithm matches what viewers to push the video to.

2. Push to Viewers

TikTok will push to a group of viewers. The number of viewers is based on a few factors:

  1. Number of Followers: Higher is better

3. Evaluation of Performance

This stage is crucial since it determines the quality of the video based on engagement rates. After viewers watch the video, the algorithm tallies up engagements. Engagements are measured based on these criteria (ordered from most to least importance):

  1. Completion Ratio: What percentage of the video was watched. For instance, if they watched half of the video, the ratio is 0.5. Good video content will be viewed in it’s entirety. TikTok shows the analytics of the video, and the user can see, on average, how many seconds viewers watched relative to the length of the video. If the average is greater than the length, then the video was watched repeatedly which factors favorably into the ratio.

4. Rating Ratio Requirement

In this stage, the performance rating in stage #3 will determine if it meets the minimum requirement to do another push to new viewers. The higher the performance rating ratio, the more viewers get to see the video in the next push. If it does not meet the minimum requirements, then that will end the pushing of the video.

5. End Push to Viewers

This is when the video isn’t getting pushed to any users, and the views will drop to nothing. However, there is a chance that a video could get another push if it can get enough views and engagements to warrant it, and the cycle continues again. We have seen it on a few of our videos where it spikes again after a certain time from getting no views.

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