Report: TikTok Staff Secretly Boosts Certain Videos To Go Viral On The Platform

Lizzo TikTok

Some Hip Hop/R&B acts saw their songs reach widespread audiences thanks to the app.

Have you ever wondered why certain content on TikTok spreads so fast? A new report claims employees at the company can use a technique called “heating” to make videos circulate quickly.

Forbes published an article titled “TikTok’s Secret ‘Heating’ Button Can Make Anyone Go Viral.” Six employees connected to the ByteDance-owned TikTok allegedly confirmed that staff members have the ability to secretly heighten videos.

“The heating feature refers to boosting videos into the For You feed through operation intervention to achieve a certain number of video views,” read an internal TikTok document, according to Forbes. “The total video views of heated videos accounts for a large portion of the daily total video views, around 1-2%, which can have a significant impact on overall core metrics.”

Apparently, “heating” is a way to entice social media influencers and brands to partner with TikTok. A guarantee that specific videos will gain significant exposure on the app likely attracts business relationships with content creators.

Recording Artists Like Lizzo & Doja Cat Routinely Go Viral On TikTok

The China-based video hosting service served as a gateway to chart success for singles such as “Say So” by Doja Cat, “BILLIE EILISH” by Armani White, and “About Damn Time” by Lizzo. In fact, Lizzo landed at #1 on TikTok’s 2022 list of the most popular recording artists in the United States.

In addition, Bella Poarch (#2), Bad Bunny (#3), Charlie Puth (#4), and Doja Cat (#5) made that same “Year on TikTok” list. TikTok also specified “About Damn Time” and “BILLIE EILISH” as two of the most trendy U.S. songs from the For You feed in 2022.

While there is no confirmation that any of those acts benefited from TikTok’s “heating” button, knowledge of that boosting capability could play a role in how the public perceives the success of music artists on the platform. Especially since Tik Tok does not reveal which content receives the extra help.

TikTok spokesperson Jamie Favazza told Forbes the company promotes “some videos to help diversify the content experience.” Favazza insisted only a few United States-based individuals can approve content for promotion in the country which supposedly makes up around .002% of videos in the For You feeds.