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TikTok reveals employees can decide what video goes viral
Featured Image Credit: Travel Wild / Alamy. Antonio Guillem Fernández / Alamy.

TikTok reveals employees can decide what video goes viral

Workers at the social media app wield a special superpower that could make a massive difference to your view count.

TikTok has finally confirmed something many had suspected for a long time: certain staffers wield the incredible superpower to make your videos go viral.

The Chinese-based app confirmed to Forbes that some of its US employees have had a hidden weapon for quite some time called 'heating'.

Basically, heating is what they call their secret power to boost videos.

It's usually used to help the app 'introduce celebrities and emerging creators to the TikTok community'.


TikTok's big confession comes after years of speculation of there being a hidden feature that can be used to catapult your views from just your mates to global stardom.

The heating button basically sidesteps the algorithm that pushes traffic through to clips on the app.

TikTok spokesperson Jamie Favazza told Forbes that increasing views to particular videos isn’t the only reason for heating.

Yau Ming Low / Alamy

Heating also helps 'promote some videos to help diversify the content experience'.

So, in other words, it is a nifty little tool to make sure your feed isn't just two trends that rotate on repeat.

Favazza reckons that 'only .002 per cent of videos in For You feeds are heated'.

However, according to documents obtained by Forbes, heated videos reportedly make up around 1-2 per cent of total daily video views. Yay for central heating, we guess.

Either way, it's a clever way the app helps creators and brands feel like they’re winning on the platform.

The news of a secret, special tool that boosts video views will come as no surprise to some.

There have been rumors for years that TikTok had been using its secret weapon to leverage politicians and businesses to jump on board with the bite-sized video sharing app.

TikTok has never previously admitted to 'heating' or other similar tactics to push content.

Well, until now, that is.

Luiza Nalimova / Alamy

And, to be fair, most of the other major apps do engage in some sort of clandestine boosting, according to Forbes.

It's merely to amplify specific posts to users to keep the app rolling forward and growing as it should.

The big difference with heating though, is that when a video is boosted it is clearly labelled.

Heating is not signposted, so this is the first real, tangible moment that we have the app admitting to the use of sneaky practices so openly.

Forbes' report comes as TikTok has begun to feel a real pinch from services such as Instagram and YouTube, which has recently started reclaiming creators by offering influencers a cut of the ad revenue made off Shorts Reels.

TikTok, however, has a selective creators fund and a very limited ad-sharing model, which could give its offer to those wanting to get ahead a bit of a leg up.

Topics: News, TikTok, Social Media