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Tech - May 12, 2021

How TikTok Decides what Goes Viral on its Platform

In the early days of social media, platforms such as Facebook and Twitter considered themselves to be more of tech companies than content providers. But with the increased realisation of the financial pull of content in marketing and the rise of relatively new platforms like TikTok, social media is doing more than ever before to decide what goes viral and who gets famous. 

A recent expose by Bloomberg trails how the Chinese owned (Byte Dance) short video platform, TikTok plays an active role in helping certain content outrank others. There’s always been the idea of a catch to seemingly overnight fame on social media, but TikTok’s ‘editorial’ role of its platform provides a picture of what currently goes on behind the scenes. 

Trailing the explosive fame of American wrapper Megan Thee Stallion who recently became the first female artist in two decades to win the best new artist award at the Grammys, Bloomberg spotlighted how  TikTok’s management analyzed user data and advised Megan’s label on to promote the rapper. The result thereafter is irrefutable.

The same goes for Gabby Murray, a 19-year-old TikTok creator earning over $20,000 monthly who talked about how TikTok advised her to use a new mirror filter in her video, something wouldn’t have ordinarily done. The video gained so much traction the influencer couldn’t help but be amazed. 

With this in mind, the question goes; what’s for organic growth on TikTok? Although the short video streaming giant stated that organic trends still happen on the platform, there’s a wonder as to what extent. While this may not necessarily require an outcry, it speaks to the glass ceiling over the heads of upcoming creators and the huge advantage famous creators enjoy.


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