The TikTok app has been downloaded over 2.6 billion times worldwide. It has more than 1 billion monthly active users. The app’s personalized feeds of short clips coupled with soundtrack effects are known for their irresistible appeal and significant levels of engagement. But the popular social media sharing app wasn’t always this popular as it is now.
In this article, you’ll read about TikTok’s development and its milestones. Next you’ll learn about TikTok’s algorithm, which shows the factors that play a role in TikTok ranking. In the last part, the interface of TikTok for mobile and Windows is shown, which helps the reader to understand the app effectively.
Part 1: TikTok Development
TikTok is owned by the Chinese Company ByteDance Ltd. In China, the same app is known as Douyin, although both have different features. In 2017, the app was launched to a worldwide audience with the name TikTok. After almost one year, TikTok started to rank first in app downloads in Thailand and other countries.
But there was a competitor, with the same features as TikTok. Musical.ly dominated the teen market in the United States, so TikTok saw it as an opportunity to enter it. On November 9, 2017, Bytedance purchased Musical.ly for an undisclosed sum expected to be close to $1 billion. This made TikTok the sole global app for video sharing and engagement. The Chinese equivalent of TikTok, Douyin, was kept as a standalone app in China.
Peak Development Point
After the merger with Musical.ly, TikTok’s audience base expanded exponentially. In 2018, TikTok was available in more than 150 markets, and in 75 languages. Since 2014, the only apps with more than 3 billion downloads are WhatsApp, Instagram, and Messenger, and all of these apps belong to Facebook. TikTok is also the first non-Facebook app to be downloaded more than 3 billion times.
According to industry analyst Sensor Tower, the app had nearly two billion downloads in March 2020, with 104.7 million downloads in January 2020 alone.
Zhang Yiming, a 29-year-old serial engineer, establishes ByteDance in Beijing.
Chinese product designer Alex Zhu launches Musical.ly.
ByteDance launched Douyin, and its global version TikTok later that year.2017
ByteDance acquires Musical.ly
TikTok merges with Musical.ly and becomes available in the U.S.
TikTok surpasses Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube in downloads.
TikTok reaches one billion installs on the App Store and Google Play Store. It released a beta version of its advertising platform. In November, Instagram launched TikTok’s rival Reels.
U.S. President Donald Trump bans TikTok in the country. Also, TikTok was banned in India.
TikTok launched TikTok for Business.
In the same year, TikTok launched its Creator Fund as a way to show its appreciation for its community of creators and empower them to earn money.
TikTok introduced TikTok Shopping
Part 2: TikTok Algorithm
The TikTok algorithm suggests content depending on a variety of parameters. These elements include:
Account Preferences: When a user signs up on TikTok, he is presented with multiple categories to highlight his/ her results. TikTok saves those preferences to show relevant content.
Interactions with Users: The videos you enjoy and post on TikTok, the accounts you follow, the comments you leave, etc.
TikTok video metadata: such as sounds, descriptions, location, and hashtags, that are incorporated in TikTok content.
Settings for the device and the account: Your country settings, location, language choices, and device type are all part of your device and account settings.
These are the fundamentals, but there’s a lot more to the TikTok algorithm. The TikTok For You page recommendation algorithm considers these aspects to ensure that each TikTok video it displays is appropriate for each user’s level of interest.
For instance, if a user watches a TikTok video from start to finish, this is a good predictor of interest than having two videos with the same creators appear in the same region due to device and account settings. The For You page uses these indicators of interest to rank suggested content based on how probable a user will be engaged in it.
Vice president of Cloud Engineering at Novasignal, Naresh Sehgal said, “TikTok uses AI, and once you click a video and like it, it learns something about you. You only have to select one movie, after that it selects for you.”
Factors that influence TikTok Ranking
Recognizing the TikTok algorithm is essential for increasing views and engagement. You’ll gain more awareness if you can crack the TikTok algorithm, which is something that all brands, businesses, and TikTok creators want.
You’ll need to get your content on as many For You page streams as possible if you want to get more views on TikTok. You’ll need to manipulate the TikTok algorithm to accomplish this.
Five factors influence the TikTok algorithm:
1. Use of hashtags
As we’ve already said, the TikTok algorithm helps make your users configure on the For You page. It’s like winning the TikTok lottery when you land on the For You page. Many of the most popular TikTok videos include hashtags like #FYP #ForYou or #ForYouPage. Do these hashtags have an impact on how TikTok distributes your content? We are unsure. According to TikTok, using these hashtags does not guarantee a spot on the For You page. While there isn’t a secret hashtag that can make you go viral, using a relevant trending hashtag can help you gain more exposure. To find these hashtags, go to the Discover tab and look at what’s trending.
You’ll also see how many times these hashtags have been viewed. This will assist you in determining the most popular hashtags to use to get your videos trending.
When making a video, it’s good to start by searching the Discover page for hot hashtags. Look at what videos are currently trending and try to duplicate one. Then make use of the appropriate hashtag.
Of course, use hashtags only if they are relevant to your content. If you plaster many famous hashtags on irrelevant videos, it could backfire.
2. Popular Music
Using the correct tunes and trending sounds is another essential component of getting your content recognized. Users adore modern music, and if you choose the appropriate song at the right time, you may significantly increase your visibility. This can dramatically impact how TikTok’s algorithm perceives your material. You’ll need to spend some time looking through TikTok and identifying the tunes and noises that everyone is using to find trending music.
Captions for TikTok should be brief, easy to understand, and relevant to the information being shared. TikTok isn’t the place for extended essay captions because it’s built for speedy browsing on mobile devices. The essential characteristics of an interesting caption are that it is short and contains the appropriate hashtags.
Ask questions or make your TikTok video part of a series to increase engagement. And if you do receive attention, make sure you respond. With your TikTok videos, you should be the one to start the dialogue. People enjoy reading comments; therefore, the more you generate, the higher your video’s chances of success. The TikTok algorithm takes engagement into account heavily.
4. Posting time
Start by focusing on posting at the right time if you want to crack the TikTok algorithm. Accessing your analytics is the most effective approach to determining when your audience is most active. Tap Followers from the analytics page, and you’ll be able to observe the top regions from where your followers originate and the periods when they’re most active.
Your current location frequently influences the videos on your For You page. It’s much easier to reach users in your own country and city than to reach a global audience. You do not need to worry about your location because it plays a minor role in the TikTok algorithm.
Part 3: TikTok Interface
1.TikTok For Mobile
TikTok includes a few simple features that allow users to follow each other, like, and share videos.
On the bottom bar of your screen, you will see 5 main menus. Home is the For You page where trending videos appear.
In the discover tab, you would see the top trending hashtags and the number of posts against each. You can also search users, sounds, videos, and hashtags in the search bar.
All the notifications will appear in the Inbox tab, including who followed, liked, mentioned or shared your video. You can also see updates from TikTok.
Here you can see your profile, including your display picture, videos, followers and likes. You can even click on ‘Edit Profile’ to edit your information.
In the center of the menu bar, you’ll see a “+’’ sign. After pressing it, your camera will be opened, and effects will be shown. You can upload the video from your gallery or make a new video by adding sound and impact in this option.
In each video you’ll see the following:
- Hearts, representing the number of likes
- An arrow representing the number of shares
- The plus sign is to follow the person whose video you are watching.
- Below, you can see the sound that the creator has used, their captions and hashtags.
2.TikTok For Desktop
Everything is just the same as the interface of TikTok on mobile, just the position is changed. You’ll see the For You in the top left and Discover in the bottom left of the screen.
The search bar is in the middle of the top.
When you click on a video, likes, comments, caption, and hashtags appear on the right side.
To upload the videos, you need to press the upload button on the top right side of the interface.
In the same row, you’ll see Messages, Inbox, and Profile.
TikTok has grown a lot since it started to the current point, where it has millions of users worldwide. It added features, tools, and changed its interface as needed. In this article, we discussed the history of TikTok briefly, along with some factors that affect the TikTok algorithm. Lastly, we discussed the TikTok interface both for mobile and desktop, to make it easy for the reader to get familiar with the app.