Journalism on Tik Tok: how to make the most of the social network


Tik Tok has become the social network of reference in almost the whole world during the times of pandemic. It is already a fact: it has come to stay and make vertical video the favorite way to communicate, also in the journalistic field. In this post we tell you how to do journalism on Tik Tok. Don’t miss it!

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Index of contents

How does the Tik Tok algorithm work?

Did you know that 75% of content consumption is made in the For You section (the recommendations made by the algorithm)?

How does the Tik Tok algorithm work? This will be the one that conditions the contents depending on the time we dedicate to viewing . If you recommend a piece of content and we watch it for a few seconds, and the next we see it in full time, the algorithm already knows what it has to recommend us next time: similar content. It also takes into account if we have liked a comment, which accounts we follow … All these variables are the ones that will later influence the content that we are going to receive and how we are going to view it.

What is Tik Tok For You?

The For You page is designed with an algorithm that recommends content based on users’ views and history . So what you see is largely up to you.


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These factors include things like:

  • User interactions : such as the videos you like or share, the accounts you follow, the comments you post, and the content you create.
  • Video information: This can include details like captions, sounds, and hashtags.
  • Device and account settings – such as language preference, country settings, and device type.
  • This does not end here.

Each of these factors is weighted individually by TikTok For You’s recommendation system , which means that each For You page will be completely unique to a user and their level of interest.

For example, TikTok explains that a strong indicator of interest could be if a user finishes watching a longer video from start to finish. If a user watches videos about the news of the day, this could increase the chances that your video will appear on their home page . The more you watch and like videos, the more TikTok will recommend similar content.

This would outweigh a weak indicator, such as whether the viewer and the creator of the video are in the same country.

Based on these “indicators of interest” , the videos on the For You page are classified according to the probability that a user will be interested in a content.

But what about the age-old question of “do I need thousands of followers to go viral?” The answer is no, it is not that important.

While a video is likely to receive more views if posted by an account that has more followers (by virtue of having a larger fan base), neither the follower count nor the fact that the account has previously had videos of high performance are direct factors in the recommendation system.

In addition, if we also create videos, the algorithm will try, based on them, to offer the recommendations that it considers similar or related.

What content works on TikTok?

TikTok users prefer creative and eye-catching videos. However, there is a growing interest in educational and inspirational content. And this is very good news for journalists. Read on and discover how journalism works on Tik Tok.

With 1 billion videos viewed on TikTok every day, there is a battle to ensure that users view and enjoy content. Most TikTok users watch the videos on the For You page, this homepage we told you about earlier.

Little is known about how to get videos to that front page, but there are a few things you can do to maximize your chances.

Using trending hashtags can help get more eyes on your videos and get them to appear on the ‘For You’ page. The most popular tags are #fyp and #foryoupage.

How to attract your audience on Tik Tok?

  • Videos longer than 3 seconds, with a maximum of 15 and 60 seconds.
  • There is also the possibility of taking photo sequences.
  • Interesting content or that invites other users to interact by Like , imitating or commenting (what we know as Call To Action ).
  • Quality is not important but there should be good light and no distorting background noise
  • Must be original
  • Do duets
  • Tik Tok Stitch – This new feature from Tik Tok
    Stitch is a way to reinterpret and add to another user’s content, based on their stories, tutorials, recipes, math lessons, and more.
  • Make Playbacks
  • Overlay your own or third-party audios
  • Create a Gif from a Post

How to do journalism on TikTok?

You have to find a balance between drawing inspiration from others and creating something unique.

To find out how to do journalism on Tik Tok , check out a lot of content created before creating your own. When watching the videos, decide how what you want to say might fit in with the existing content, maybe there is a viral song that you can change the lyrics to.

Perhaps, following in the footsteps of CNN’s Max Foster, you could act out the lyrics of a song with funny subtitles, explaining aspects of a story or your work.

The best journalistic content teaches viewers something without them knowing it, talks to Tik Tok users to find out what news they want, and how they want to get it. When creating your content, use simple language and a friendly tone.

Don’t just rely on the sound of your own voice. On-screen text and graphics, as well as music, can help you explain concepts quickly and clearly.

Master all of the above, and you will see that the art of journalism on TikTok increases your knowledge of the topics you talk about, something that will happen when you need to get to the core of a story – and its relevance to the public.

Here are some examples of journalism on Tik Tok from media such as NBC, El Tiempo and The Washington Post.

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Examples of journalism on Tik Tok

The Washington Post could be the most successful example of how to do journalism on Tik Tok , with 508k followers and 22 million followers, The Post uses the platform to publish videos related to life in a newsroom.

Video producer Dave Jorgenson, who runs the page, has been posting humorous content to keep viewers entertained during the quarantine.

BBC visual journalist, religion reporter and TikTok subscriber Sophia Smith Galer uses the platform to create stories, teach languages, and take advantage of viral trends.

Max Foster, the CNN International reporter is another Tik Tok icon. He has gained a huge following by putting a positive spin on the news during the quarantine.

And finally, Emma Bentley, for BBC News is a BBC journalist with a digital camera. She documents the realities of her daily work by mixing educational videos with funny clips.

And you, are you a journalist? Do you want to do journalism on Tik Tok or are you passionate about social networks ? We recommend the Master in Digital Marketing and Social Media

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