It would appear that TikTok employees would make social media content go viral at the push of a button. According to a recent report published by Forbes, it's not just the algorithm that decides which content will go viral.
Apparently, the ByteDance staff is able to secretly select a few specific videos and boost their distribution, initiating a practice known internally as a warm-up. TikTok has never admitted to being involved in any such action.
Some sources have clearly reported that the platform has used the warm-up practice to woo influencers and brands, inviting them to collaborate in exchange for increasing the number of views of their videos. If so, it is clear that TikTok has deliberately favored some brands and creators over others.
TikTok employees make content go viral with the push of a button
An internal TikTok document, MINT Heating Playbook, would report: "The heating function refers to the increase of videos in the For You feed through the operational intervention to obtain a certain number of video views.
The total views of heated videos represent a large part of total daily views, about 1-2%, which can have a significant impact on overall fundamental metrics." According to the Forbes report, ByteDance employees abused the warm-up practice to make videos shared from their account or those of their loved ones go viral, effectively breaking company policy.
A TikTok spokesperson released the following statement: "We promote some videos to encourage diversification of the content experience, as well as to introduce celebrities and emerging creators to the TikTok community. Only a few people, based in the United States, have the the ability to decide what content to promote, limited to the United States, and that content represents approximately 0.002% of the videos in the For You feed." TikTok is a Chinese social network launched in September 2016, initially under the name musical.ly.
Through the app, users can create short clips of variable duration (from 15 to 600 seconds) and possibly change the playback speed, add filters, special effects and sounds to their videos. In China, the application is different from the one published in the West and is more developed, also integrating functions for Internet marketing.