This is how the TikTok algorithm works

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Like the rest of social networks, TikTok houses at its core an algorithm capable of analyzing the content published by its users and promote the dissemination of those that may have a greater acceptance based on the tastes and interests of each and every one of the more than one billion users that this platform already has.

The TikTok algorithm establishes different guidelines to assign value to content shared by users

Now it has been possible to access decisive information on the operation of this algorithm thanks to a document from the engineering team of the TikTok platform itself in Beijing, which The New York Times has had access to.

The authenticity of this document has been confirmed by Hilary McQuaide, a TikTok spokeswoman. The document, entitled «TikTok Something 101»(Referring to the name of an elementary instruction manual for the operation of the algorithm), it would have been written so that employees whose qualifications are not technical understand the operation of this algorithm.

Through “TikTok Algo 101” all kinds of details are offered about the internal functioning as well as trends and internal sensitivity regarding cultural concerns and how users seek to avoid boredom through content shared on TikTok.

The secret of success would be in the ease of creating content, allowing users to use musical pieces in the background. At the same time the application provides an extremely simple way to deliver content to your liking. This information is extracted from different factors ranging from comments to “likes”, screenshots and the most used hashtags.

The time that the user spends watching each of the videos is even analyzed and which are the videos that motivate a page scrolling in search of other content that the user likes. In this sense, the document explains that the primary goal for TikTok is to add daily active users reinforcing both retention (prioritizing that the user access the application again) and the time elapsed within the application, seeking to keep it as long as possible.

In this sense, the four main purposes for the TikTok algorithm are:

-User value

-User value in the long term

-Creator value

-Value of the platform