All social media platforms are equipped with algorithms, which classify content based on a set of rules. These algorithms play a crucial role in the success of a social network, as they significantly impact the time users spend on the platform. Consequently, recommendations have become increasingly important across different applications, particularly since the rise of TikTok.

In this article, we will unveil the mysteries behind the algorithms of TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook!

1. How Does the TikTok Algorithm Work? {#tiktok_algorithm}

The TikTok algorithm is at the core of its success. Unlike other platforms, TikTok prioritizes a “For You” feed composed of personalized recommendations, with subscription-based content taking a secondary role. While the algorithm effectively captures user preferences, TikTok also ensures diversity by occasionally introducing different content.

What Boosts Visibility on TikTok:

  • Replays: The number of times a video is replayed by users upon release greatly influences its potential for wider sharing. The duration of viewing is also a determining factor.
  • Likes and Comments: TikTok encourages interactions, so videos generating comments, likes, or shares send positive signals to the algorithm, increasing their visibility.
  • Trends: TikTok emphasizes trends. To ride the wave, you can participate in challenges, recreate popular formats, or use trending music.

What Restricts Visibility on TikTok:

  • Spam: TikTok penalizes spam, especially content that aims to artificially boost visibility.
  • Inappropriate Content: TikTok limits the visibility of certain sensitive content such as “explicit medical procedures” or “legally regulated substance consumption.”

It’s worth noting that the number of followers is not a significant factor in TikTok’s “For You” feed. This sets TikTok apart from other platforms.

2. Understanding the Instagram Algorithm {#instagram_algorithm}

The Instagram algorithm operates at multiple levels, including feed posts, Explore page, Reels, and hashtag pages. Over time, Instagram has been aligning itself with TikTok by giving increasing importance to recommended content.

What Boosts Visibility on Instagram:

  • Interactions: Instagram highly values user interactions. You will be exposed to content from users with whom you exchange messages or engage with their posts. Engagement creates a virtuous cycle.
  • Hashtags: Hashtags are an effective and free way to increase the visibility of your posts among users who don’t follow you. For better results, use hashtags relevant to your content rather than general ones. Contrary to popular belief, there is no downside to using many hashtags.
  • Trending Posts: Instagram assigns a relevance score to posts, giving higher scores to recent posts and those aligned with current trends (e.g., related to current events).
  • Targeted Posts: Instagram aims to understand users’ preferences. If you have a clear thematic focus in your posts, such as vintage fashion, you are more likely to be featured among a specific community.

What Restricts Visibility on Instagram:

  • Reposts: In 2022, Instagram modified its algorithm to prioritize original content. Sharing content created by others will result in lower visibility. Additionally, republishing TikTok videos on Reels is particularly penalized, so remember to remove the TikTok watermark.
  • Artificial Growth: Manipulations to artificially increase your follower count are strongly discouraged. Avoid following too many accounts at once, buying followers, or constantly adding and removing hashtags, as these practices are counterproductive.

3. Decoding the LinkedIn Algorithm {#linkedin_algorithm}

Despite its professional dimension, the LinkedIn algorithm is not significantly different from algorithms on other platforms.

What Boosts Visibility on LinkedIn:

  • Engagement: User engagement is the primary data valued by the LinkedIn algorithm. While reactions (such as “Like,” “Bravo,” “Instructive,” etc.) are important, the number of comments has the greatest impact on a post’s visibility.
  • Consistency: Accounts that regularly publish content are rewarded. Many LinkedIn users make a point of posting daily.
  • Media Integration: Posts with media elements (images, videos, PDFs, carousels) also gain better visibility. The same applies to polls.

What Restricts Visibility on LinkedIn:

  • Excessive Posting: While consistency is rewarded, LinkedIn penalizes excessive posting. It’s best to avoid publishing more than one post per day.
  • Self-Commenting: Visibility of posts decreases if the author comments on their own post without any user interaction.

4. YouTube Algorithm Demystified {#youtube_algorithm}

The YouTube algorithm has undergone several changes over the years, gaining significant attention. Initially, YouTube focused on promoting the most viewed videos. Subsequently, the platform updated its algorithm to reduce the visibility of “clickbait” videos. In recent years, YouTube has favored more mainstream content to support advertising.

What Boosts Visibility on YouTube:

  • Consistent Publishing: YouTube appreciates creators who regularly publish videos. Channels with a high publication frequency are rewarded.
  • Number of Subscribers: Unlike TikTok, the number of subscribers greatly influences video visibility on YouTube.
  • Views, Likes, and Comments: Videos with high view counts, likes, and comments gain more visibility. Interestingly, YouTube’s algorithm can resurface older videos (even several years old) if they have performed well.
  • Subtitles: YouTube values videos with subtitles. While an automatic captioning tool exists, manually correcting any errors is recommended.

What Restricts Visibility on YouTube:

  • Sensitive Content: YouTube aims to accommodate brands, so borderline content is swiftly penalized. Many creators have expressed concerns about the platform’s strictness, fearing limitations to freedom of expression.

5. Unveiling the Twitter (X) Algorithm {#twitter_algorithm}

Twitter (X) recently released the code for its recommendation algorithm, providing insights into what makes a tweet successful.

What Boosts Visibility on Twitter:

  • Retweets and Likes: Retweets and likes have the greatest impact on tweet visibility. This is evident in your feed, where a significant portion of content comes from likes or retweets by accounts you follow.
  • Media Attachments: Photos and videos double a tweet’s visibility.
  • Twitter (X) Blue Subscription: Twitter (X) boosts the visibility of tweets from Twitter (X) Blue subscribers, which serves as an incentive to join the subscription service.
  • Interactions: Comments, quotes, and replies increase the visibility of tweets. This visibility is enhanced when interactions are repeated (such as when the author responds to comments).

What Restricts Visibility on Twitter:

  • Multiple Hashtags in a Single Tweet: Surprisingly, the platform that popularized hashtags penalizes excessive use of hashtags. It’s preferable to use only one hashtag.
  • Spelling Errors: Twitter (X) considers invented or slang words as spelling errors. It is recommended to use standard language expressions.
  • Lack of “Credibility”: Twitter (X) decreases the credibility score of an account if it has a poor follower-to-following ratio, spreads fake news, or begins to tweet outside the account’s defined category.

6. The Inner Workings of the Facebook Algorithm {#facebook_algorithm}

At its inception, Facebook used an algorithm called EdgeRank, which ordered posts based on affinity, popularity, and publication date. While the algorithm is now outdated, it served as the foundation for Facebook’s current recommendations.

What Boosts Visibility on Facebook:

  • Video Content: If you enjoy watching videos, Facebook will prioritize video content in your feed.
  • Group Posts: Facebook encourages user interaction in comment sections. Therefore, posts made within groups, which facilitate conversations, receive a visibility boost.
  • Posts Generating Reactions: Facebook introduced the “Like” button in 2009, and since then, numerous other reactions have been added (e.g., “Love,” “Angry,” “Support”). Posts with many reactions are given more visibility.

What Restricts Visibility on Facebook:

  • Inaccurate Content: Facebook has been criticized for the spread of fake news on its platform, especially during the 2016 US presidential election. Consequently, the social network has become more vigilant in this regard.