You’ve probably seen your favorite TikTok creators throwing around hashtags like #fyp #foryou, and #fypシ. But here’s the thing: just because everyone’s doing something… doesn’t mean it actually works.
These tags, on the surface, are intended to mark content as worthy of the “For You Page.” But what’s unclear is if the TikTok algorithm actually takes this nudge into account. (After all: who among us likes being told what to do?)
So! We decided to find out, once and for all, if these sort of hashtags actually help you get on the For You Page, or if they’re spammy hashtags similar to #follow4follow on Instagram that, at best, do nothing, and at worst, work against your content.
Let the great experiment begin!
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Hypothesis: “For You Page” hashtags don’t necessarily help you get on the For You Page
It’s a common sight out there in the wild wild west that is TikTok: hashtags begging the algorithm to put a video onto the For You Page.
I get it. After all, the For You page is where stars are born. Who wouldn’t want to have their content featured here?
There are plenty of variations on the blatant grab at views. #FYP, #ForYou, #ForYouPage, and so on. Most creators who are fond of this tactic like to include a handful to boost their chances of being included.
But knowing how the TikTok algorithm works, it seems unlikely that these tags would ever actually result in a boost.
Yes, hashtags are part of TikTok’s secret recommendation recipe, but the platform uses hashtags to find you fresh videos that are “based on content that you tend to seek out.”
So, sure, maybe if there’s someone out there specifically looking for juicy #fyp vids, TikTok would help ‘em out — but it’s more likely that people’s interests skew a little more specific than that.
That being said: I’ve been wrong before and I plan on being wrong again! (It builds character.) We’re not going to make any assumptions here. We’re going to test these tags out in real-time.
I decided to post a handful of TikTok videos without any hashtags at all and leave them up for a week to see how they did with views and engagement.
Then, my plan was to take them off my account and repost the exact same content as fresh videos with as many for-you-page related hashtags as I could find.
To keep the comparison clean, I didn’t add any other potentially audience-skewing hashtags beyond that. I also wrote captions in a couple of instances, but would always repeat the caption for both tagged and non-tagged versions of the video, just in case that had some sort of impact.
Timing-wise, I posted all of the non-tagged videos in a batch, one after the other, and waited six days to tally the results. I did the same with the tagged videos the following week.
A simple study! An ethical study! And one where I finally got to share a slow-motion clip of sumo wrestlers I shot back in 2017. Isn’t science amazing?!
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TLDR: I didn’t gain any views from the #fyp hashtags.
Here’s the full comparison of how my videos performed without hashtags, and with #fyp-related hashtags.
|VIDEO CONTENT||VIEWS: NO HASHTAGS||VIEWS: HASHTAG VERSION|
|Slo-mo Sumo||Reported for community violation, RUDE||159|
|Soothing Water Views||153||148|
Just as I suspected, tagging videos with #fyp, #foryoupage, and other similar hashtags didn’t boost my views at all. Sure, there was one case where I got maybe 10 more views on a video with a #fyp hashtag… but there were also cases where I got a handful more views without any hashtags. The difference is so negligible, I don’t think we can draw any conclusions from either.
All in all, using #fyp and related hashtags didn’t earn me more views. These sort of tags likewise didn’t get me any more likes or follows (and I’m honestly a little miffed no one wanted to Duet).
On the positive side, it didn’t seem to necessarily hurt my videos to tag them with #fyp… but I guess if I was worried about squeezing the full potential out of every single character in my limited caption space, I would think twice about using those generic type of hashtags in the future. Each letter I plug in there is eating up precious digital real estate I could’ve used for more specific tags like #sumobutts or #cutedogs that might’ve got me attention from new audiences.
What do the results mean?
As usual: there’s no real magic bullet for becoming a TikTok star other than (gulp) trying to make great content. (We know, we know: where’s the fun in that?) Just like you can’t buy followers or likes, you can’t trick the TikTok algorithm with a superpowered hashtag.
Of course, testing out the #fyp lifestyle was not a total waste of time. The results of this grand experiment have helped hammer home some of the core principles of successful hashtaggery.
Use hashtags that actually reflect your content
To get on the For You Page, you’re better off following steps to create great, engaging content that’s labeled with hashtags that are actually relevant to your video. This is how TikTok actually understands what you’re creating, and gets your posts in front of people who will care.
Pro tip: Use our free TikTok hashtag generator to come up with ideas for the perfect mix of hashtags.
Use hashtags that people might be searching for
The reality is, no one cracks open TikTok’s Discover page and starts typing in “#fyp” to see what they find. If they really want a random grab bag of content, they’ll just go to the For You Page itself.
Instead, the search function is going to be used by people on the hunt for specific words and content. “Psychic witch investors,” for instance. Put on your SEO hat and think about how to best help TikTok users find your amazing vids with search terms real humans would use.
Getting lots of views is likely to signal your video’s popularity to TikTok’s algorithm, making it more likely for you to show up on someone’s For You Page.
Use a mix of hashtags
Putting all your hashtag eggs in one hashtag basket means that, if your strategy isn’t sound, you’re going to flop. (Or… crack? This egg metaphor was busted from the get-go.) Cramming as many #fyp-adjacent hashtags into your caption isn’t going to help if this genre of tag is a failure. Like I said, it’s not going to hurt to include a #foryoupage tag, but you’ll likely have better results if you pair that with a variety of other themes.
And like we recommend in our guide to TikTok hashtags, it’s wise to combine ultra-popular tags with more niche ones to try to capture both highly visible and highly directed audiences.
Think about it: the For You Page is personalized to each user’s interests and preferences. Make sure you use hashtags to tell the algorithm what interests your video addresses. The more info it has, the more likely it will be to serve it to the right people.
Keep these guidelines in mind and you’re sure to see your content headlining on the For You Page in the near future. But while you wait for your adoring audience of new fans to find you, why not read through some of our other daring social media experiments?
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