One of the greatest things about TikTok is it’s one of the few platforms where anybody can go viral at anytime.
Whether you’re looking to become TikTok famous or you’re simply hoping one of your videos will reach a viral level, you may be wondering – what actually is considered to be viral on TikTok anyway? How many views does it take, and is there anything you can do to make your videos go viral more quickly?
In this article, we’ll cover everything that you need to know!
How Many Views Is Considered Viral On TikTok?
Generally speaking, 500,000 views is considered to be semi-viral, while 1-2 million views or more is considered to be fully viral.
Because not all followers of an account will see every TikTok that a creator has posted (even if the creator has millions of followers themselves), reaching several million views on a video means that the video has gone viral even outside of their own circle. It has been pushed to hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of people’s For You pages, and has likely resulted in a lot of new attention to their account.
It should be noted that virality is a scale, so determining the exact number where you feel your video has gone viral will be unique to you.
For example, let’s look at things at both ends of the spectrum.
Within a very specific community, a TikTok could be considered viral within that community even if it only had say, 20,000 views. If you only posted TikToks about something super specific like rock collecting, there are only a limited number of people actually interested in that subject, who TikTok would even choose to show the video to.
If your video was popular enough to get pushed to everyone’s feeds that’s a part of that community, it could be considered viral within that community even if the total number of views was small. Everyone would have seen it, talk about it, and engage with it.
On the other end of the scale, we have mainstream virality. These are videos that are pushed out to just about everyone due to their sheer popularity. They result in new trends, people make memes or parodies of it, and the creator of the video is instantly famous. For something to reach this stage, it could need tens of millions of views.
These videos are exceptionally rare, and aren’t how most creators grow their followings.
Instead, most big creators on the platform push out new videos frequently, with some of them reaching only a small amount of virality at a time. Each time that happens, they bring in a few new followers, who then help their TikTok page grow even further the next time a video goes viral.
Therefore, if your goal is to become TikTok famous, don’t expect it to happen off of one mega-viral video. Instead, it’s likely to come from a larger number of videos over time, that each bring in new followers on their own.
How Long Does It Take For A Video To Go Viral On TikTok?
The exact length of time it takes for a video to go viral on TikTok can vary. However, it generally takes between 2 and 6 hours after the TikTok has been posted for videos to begin reaching viral status.
This is due to the way TikTok’s algorithm works – TikTok will only show your video to a limited number of people at first, before assessing its performance and determining how many people it should reach in total.
To better understand this, let’s look at the TikTok algorithm in more detail.
How Does The TikTok Algorithm Work?
TikTok’s algorithm is unique, in the sense that anybody can go viral at any time. This is part of what makes TikTok so addictive for creators – you never know which video is going to be the one that reaches millions of people.
However, every video must first go through several stages before it can ever reach massive virality. While the exact details of TikTok’s algorithm are kept secret, we have some ideas.
First, after uploading your TikTok, your video will be shown to a very small number of people. These will consist both of your followers as well as viewers on the For You page. Generally, this will be less than 100 people or so, though the exact numbers can vary depending on your following and your past video performance.
After a short period of time, TikTok’s algorithm will assess how your video performed. They will look at how much engagement the video received, such as likes, comments and downloads. Additionally, they will also look at metrics related to view time, such as how often the video was skipped, how long the average viewer watched the video, and how many times people replayed it.
If the video has performed well based on this initial assessment, it will get pushed out to a larger circle of people. After some time, the video will undergo the same assessment – but the requirements to continue pushing it out will become even more strict, as its now pushing the video out to a larger, more diverse group of people.
This cycle will repeat over and over again, each time increasing the amount of people that see the video.
Before a video reaches mainstream virality, it’s believed that the video’s distribution is slowed down so it can be reviewed by a human moderator. The TikTok employee will assess the video to determine whether or not its worthy of getting pushed out to potentially millions of people.
When anyone of these tests fails (both the automated assessment as well as the manual review), the video’s distribution will slow down and eventually stop.
Is There Any Way To Make A Video Go Viral On TikTok?
Now that you know more about how the TikTok algorithm works, you may be wondering – is there anyway to make a video go viral on purpose?
While we all hope our videos end up going viral every time we post, there unfortunately isn’t any guaranteed method – and if there were, it would be exploited by others quickly.
The best thing that you can do is to post frequently, and always put the maximum amount of effort possible into each video. Videos that are unique, interesting and cause emotional reactions in people are most likely to be shared and viewed repeatedly, increasing the likelihood that they’ll go viral.
Thankfully, it does get easier to go viral as your following grows. This is because your followers will likely be your most engaged viewers, and they will help send positive signals to TikTok’s algorithm and encourage it to be pushed out to more and more people.
While luck is always involved to a certain degree, remember that 1 viral video can make up for 20+ videos that didn’t perform very well. So, you shouldn’t feel discouraged if you aren’t yet getting views on your TikTok videos – most people start out at 0, and have to work their way up for many months before developing any sort of following. This is true even if their videos are good!
The exact number of views required for a video to be considered viral depend on your definition of the word.
While 20,000 views can be viral within a specific niche, it may take millions or even tens of millions of views before a video is known among the general population.
I hope that you’ve found this article helpful. If you have any other questions about TikTok, please ask them using the comment form below.
Wishing you the best,
– James McAllister