TikTok Algorithm Changes for 2021

TikTok’s algorithm is always changing, whether we like it or not! Assuming you have baseline level knowledge of TikTok and what kinds of videos you want to upload, the more important of the two as it pertains to account growth is algorithm knowledge. 

So without further ado here are the most substantial algorithm changes you NEED TO KNOW for 2021.

1.) The TikTok Algorithm Loves Popular Sounds

All TikTok algorithm researchers agree that using trending sounds tends to do wonders for your videos and their prominence in the “FYP” or For You Page.

This is one of the biggest TikTok algorithm changes to occur within the past few months.

 Now the first question that naturally comes to mind is “how can I find the right trending sound for my video?”

While there are apps that help with this, the TikTok app is really all you need unless you require an in-depth analysis of the performance, volume, and relevance of each sound. Within the creation tool on the app, you can find a “TikTok viral” tab which provides you all the tools and sounds to get started.

2.) TikTok’s Algorithm Has Shifted to Watchtime and Rewatches

In the online video creation industry, one of the most heavily valued aspects of the algorithm is the retention time and rate. This is determined by how long and how many people view your content before clicking away or swiping, in the case of TikTok, just mere seconds make all the difference.

So how can you boost your retention time and rate? 

Starting off your videos with a hook or question is one surefire method to squeeze those few extra seconds of interest from your viewer. 

Something that has sprung up in the last few months has been “loops”, this is essentially where you edit your video to end right before it starts. “Loops” on TikTok tend to lead to a higher rate of re-watchers as the video seems to seamlessly restart. 

It’s imperative to follow the TikTok algorithm changes as much as possible, that way your content is always up-to-date and not being stunted by modifications to the app.

3.) TikTok’s Algorithm Has Changed Hashtags

During TikTok’s infancy, many believed that putting the tag “#fyp” would lead to an increase in video performance, and this has since been proven to have little to no effect, in certain cases this tag can actually harm the performance of your video. 

When it comes to effectively tagging your videos for optimal performance, this mainly comes down to trial and error. For example, if you have a video perform significantly better than the rest with certain hashtags, you should try using these again. If you notice using certain tags yield better results, continue using them as they seem to target your audience at higher rates. 

4.) Engaging With Your TikTok Comments

I know from experience how much it sucks to have a video receive decent views but little to no comments, this has a relatively easy fix.

When you first post a video, try baiting viewers into engaging with the post by asking an enticing question in the comment section, one example that has always worked for me is “opinions on this?” 

Replying to 5-10 comments per video seems to be the sweet spot, as replying more can saturate the comments section. 

When you have a video go viral or receive higher views than usual, do not be afraid to self-promote in the comments, this will appear at the top and be seen by almost everyone who decides to open the comments on the video.

If you found this helpful, check out our comprehensive TikTok guide.

If you would like to hire us to manage your social media, check out our services.

Finally, if you’re feeling stressed during these trying times, check out this article to help.