Is TikTok a Social Media Fad or is it here to Stay? TikTok ‘Secret Sauce’ Algo

Back in 2016, when TikTok hit the global social media market, it instantly became an internet sensation racking over 1 billion users as time went on.

Since then, other social media platforms have started leaning towards using the features on TikTok. 

Despite that competition, TikTok has managed to rise above the ranks, making its way to the leading social media platform.

TikTok official high definition graphic logo

Looking back at how far this social media network has come, is it safe to conclude that it is here to stay? Or is it merely a social media fad?

TikTok Video Algorithm – How videos go viral

TikTok creator making a video

When you open the TikTok app, there is an endless scroll of videos to watch based on the accounts you are following and historical interests.

This first page of the TikTok social media app displays videos that have gone viral in the respective interests of each user. Various elements contribute to a video going viral, including likes, comments, and other engagements.

Original audio usage statistics

Using original audio from another video is one of the greatest features that the TikTok social media competition introduced to other platforms like Instagram and Snapchat.

Although this feature might seem like a cool functionality, it enables the TikTok algorithm to gather insights on each video posted on the platform.

If the original audio of a certain video has been used many times, it improves the chances of that post going viral.

Duets, stitches, and green screen

Duets and stitches also changed the ball game in social media video creation across multiple platforms. TikTok also came up with this social media platform feature that allows users to add a frame of their video to the original post.

Video reactors use this feature while others duet themselves while singing along to a song that was posted and so forth. The TikTok algorithm also gauges these engagements to determine whether a video goes viral or not.

How the app holds user attention & keeps TikTokers engaged

Users scrolling through the TikTok app

TikTok’s user statistics exponentially grew due to the ability to captivate and hold user attention for prolonged periods of time.

This is possible through the content personalization algorithm used by the platform to give users what they are looking for, every time they open the app.

The personalization this algorithm offers is, by far, one of the most advanced in the social media sphere.

The algorithm triggered the TikTok competition, informally joined by Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat.

However, TikTok is still reigning supreme since the competing apps haven’t cracked the code on this algorithm.

The technology behind TikTok gathers data and categorizes it to fine details to retrieve better matches for each user.

This platform also personalizes categories such as country, culture, and even preferred language. These personalization capabilities were unheard of in the social media sector before the conception of TikTok.

For a brief period, some countries wanted to ban the app since they weren’t sure about the implemented data-gathering policies. After a while, some of these countries lifted their attempted bans after preliminary findings of the security and data retention policies.

Other than the the personalization features, users are also hooked to TikTok due to the different engagements offered.

For example, users can connect with their favorite TikTokers by dueting or stitching videos. Alternatively, TikTok users can lip sync songs and voices from videos created by other TikTokers.

TikTok’s ‘Secret Sauce Algorithm’ – What is it?

TikTok’s algorithm revolutionized the social media video arena, and all that users know about it is just a scratch on the surface.

For example, most users think that TikTok captivates their attention at that moment by offering viral content.

However, there are other facets of the TikTok algorithm.

The algorithm focuses mainly on user value, long-term user value, creator value, and platform value.

With this in mind, it is safe to conclude that the technology powering this platform does not focus solely on keeping users engaged in each session.

Additionally, the platform retains users and keeps them returning to the platform.

The byproduct of creating this long-lasting value, TikTok’s algorithm has created virtual communities with common influencers. At the same time, this platform makes it easier for other users to go viral instead of promoting influencers with high follower and engagement statistics.

The algorithm is so advanced to the extent that after watching and engaging with a few videos, TikTok will understand the user’s thinking patterns.

That includes things such as physical attractions, music taste, and even mood. This is what made some countries ban the social media network since they were concerned about the users if this data was not controlled.

Fortunately, TikTok does not share the insights with third parties, including the businesses using this platform for advertising.

The algorithm is used solely for the core features of the app and not for advertising or marketing purposes.

The case for TikTok not being a social media fad

TikTok logo on a mobile phone

TikTok has proven itself to not be a social media fad when considering the years it has been up for business.

Since 2016, this app has been operational, and annually, the user statistics have grown.

The platform has even permeated to people of strong cultural backgrounds using the app to share and engage with videos. At the same time, defeating legal matters brought up against TikTok has proven this platform to be much more than a fad.

Not to mention that the app revolutionized the social media video sector by offering endless scrolling with advanced personalization features.

Through the TikTok algorithm, users find it hard to get off this platform once they have started using it. Additionally, tech giants have replicated the features offered by this innovative social media network.

For example, Instagram and Snapchat developed Reels and Spotlight respectively to try and match up with this platform. However, their efforts were not enough to try and supersede TikTok in the social media video sector.

These aspects make it clear that TikTok is much more than just a fad. It is here to stay.

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Originally published on February 25th, 2022
The Blog

Is TikTok a Social Media Fad or is it here to Stay? TikTok ‘Secret Sauce’ Algo

by Simi time to read: 4 min