TikTok is one of the fastest growing social media platforms, with over 1 billion monthly active users. Its algorithm is optimized to show users personalized content that keeps them engaged. This has led some TikTok users to wonder – does TikTok unlike videos after a while to renew interest?
About TikTok’s Algorithm
TikTok’s proprietary algorithm curates content for each user. It analyzes aspects like video watches, shares, comments and likes to determine a video’s relevance. Videos that receive more engagement are shown to more users.
Likes play an important role. They signal to the algorithm that a video resonates with viewers. Videos with more likes appear on more For You pages. This helps videos go viral.
However, the algorithm also values fresh content. New videos that receive high engagement can gain more views. So, does TikTok unlike old videos?
The Claim: TikTok Unlikes Videos Over Time
Some TikTok users have noticed odd fluctuations in their older videos’ like counts. Sudden drops of 20, 50 or 100 likes on weeks-old videos has fueled speculation.
Some believe it’s TikTok’s algorithm automatically removing likes from older videos. The idea is that this renewed drop in engagement triggers the algorithm to share these videos again. More eyeballs regain the lost likes and boost engagement.
Analyzing the Pattern of Lost Likes
A 2021 study analyzed the like counts on thousands of TikTok videos. It found no evidence supporting the theory that TikTok unlikes videos after some time.
Like counts did occasionally drop on some videos. But the drops were small, temporary and random. Statistical analysis showed no pattern associated with video age.
These occasional drops likely reflect the app updating counts when spam likes get removed. Some genuine likes may also drop off when users clear their like history. But the study debunked claims of TikTok secretly “recycling” old videos.
Expert Opinions on TikTok’s Algorithm
Social media experts confirm that TikTok does prioritize new trending content in its algorithm. However, they found no evidence supporting the idea that it removes likes from older posts.
TikTok’s parent company ByteDance states that proactively removing genuine likes would erode audience trust. It would also risk damaging creators’ ability to monetize content with brands.
While TikTok’s code remains secret, experts suggest intermittent like drops result from routine algorithm updates. Such updates continually improve how the platform monitors fake engagement.
A 2021 statement from TikTok says its systems may update video metrics to exclude spam accounts. However, it claims there are no changes to intentionally hide genuine user engagement.
The Takeaway: Monitor Your Analytics
TikTok’s evolving algorithm can impact long-term viewership patterns for creators. But current evidence cannot substantiate rumors around timed unlikes.
Observation biases or selective memory may fuel that perception for some users. Creators should instead focus on monitoring traffics patterns through TikTok’s analytics.
Staying up-to-date on algorithm changes also helps assess shifts in their content’s performance. Combining these best practices helps creators succeed on the platform long-term.