23 January 2023

TikTok has a secret button that can make anyone go viral

A “Heating” button can be used to put selected videos onto users For You pages.

A new report by Forbes has revealed more light on how videos go viral on TikTok, with employees of the company revealing they have the power to manually boost clips, allowing them to reach a wider audience on the platform.

US employees claimed they have the ability to boost videos in order to “introduce celebrities and emerging creators to the TikTok community.” The statement comes as part of a report about TikTok’s “Heating” button, which Forbes says can be used to put selected videos onto users’ For You pages, helping boost views by sidestepping the algorithm that supposedly drives the TikTok experience. 

Jamie Favazza, a spokesperson for TikTok revealed that increasing views to particular videos isn’t the only benefit of heating. The platform will also  “promote some videos to help diversify the content experience,” he said. Favazza also suggested that TikTok doesn’t do it that often, claiming only “0.002% of videos in your For You feed” are heated. However, according to an internal document obtained by Forbes, heated videos reportedly make up “around 1-2%” of “daily video views.”

According to the report, heated videos don’t come with a label like ads or sponsored posts do. Instead, they appear just like every other video the algorithm would’ve selected for you. 

The report also revealed that there have been occasions where employees have heated videos they shouldn’t have, promoting videos from friends, partners or even their own content.  

  • Writer Chris Saunders Banner Image Credit

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