Experiment: Does the 7-Second TikTok Problem Truly Work?

Whereas dancing, lip-synching, mom-pranking, and trying to make “goblincore” a thing are among the many extra common issues to do on TikTok, for formidable creators and social media managers, there’s one exercise that trumps all of them: making an attempt to sport the TikTok algorithm.

At this level, TikTok has been downloaded more than 2 billion times, with over 689 million energetic customers globally. It’s the fastest-growing social media platform on the earth, and making it onto the For You Page (or “FYP,” as TikTok customers far busier than me say) is a chance to get a style of an enormous, extremely engaged new viewers.

The For You Web page is the place likes, views, and new followers are discovered; the place TikTok legends are born! No marvel so many individuals are obsessive about making an attempt to crack the code (and why we’ve spent a lot time experimenting with TikTok hacks ourselves!)

So after we heard a few new problem that allegedly provided a shortcut to getting on the FYP, we jumped on it. Often known as the Seven-Second Problem, TikTok creators had been reporting unbelievable engagement, just by posting text-heavy, seven-second movies that includes trending audio clips.

Was it actually that simple? Or only a coincidence? The Hootsuite social staff warmed up their typing thumbs, cued up a sizzling new observe, and bravely hit file to search out out.

Hypothesis: 7-second TikTok videos with lots of text get more reach

TikTok users are currently sharing an intriguing new theory: you get a ton of reach with videos that are a maximum of seven seconds long that feature lots of text and a trending sound.


Lmk if this labored for you??‍♀️ #sevensecondchallenge #lifestylefitness #blackgirltiktok #gootd

♬ Breakin my heart – Jodeci’s groupie

It’s a hack to beat the TikTok algorithm that appears virtually too simple — suspicious, even! No marvel many of the movies tagged with the trending TikTok hashtag #sevensecondchallenge embrace textual content that feedback on the whether or not or not the problem itself really works. Even the Crimson Sox (baseball, perhaps you’ve heard of it?) are giving it a whirl.


Did it work? Did we go viral but? #sevensecondchallenge #7seconds #redsox

♬ Everybody Wants To Rule The World – The Moving Stills


Lmk if this works for you ??‍♀️ #sevensecondchallenge #fypシ #viral #Ohio #cleveland

♬ Breakin my heart – Jodeci’s groupie

Some #sevensecondchallenge movies have achieved hundreds of thousands of views; others had a much smaller attain. However to actually decide if this speculation was true, the Hootsuite staff must put its personal account to the take a look at.


Three key elements are required for the seven-second TikTok problem:

  1. A seven-second video. In accordance with the idea, the precise content material of this video doesn’t actually matter. It might be a rainbow over a ball stadium, a mirror shot of your finest athleisure outfit, or footage of you eating popcorn out of a tub. Observe your bliss!
  2. A trending sound clip. TikTok already prioritizes movies with trending audio in any case on its FYP (a minimum of with the latest TikTok algorithm), so this part is vital! Don’t attempt to be an unique right here: bow to the whims of the plenty!
  3. “Tons” of textual content. There doesn’t appear to be a constant advice for a way lengthy “heaps” is, however most individuals making an attempt this hack write a few paragraph — mainly, one thing which may take seven seconds to learn.

“Some individuals publish movies of individuals actually doing nothing, different movies are informational, others are simply garbage,” says Hootsuite social advertising and marketing coordinator Eileen Kwok. “Folks get artistic with it, which is the enjoyable a part of TikTok.”

With this in thoughts, Kwok and Hootsuite’s social media staff created three completely different movies to publish and observe.

The primary featured Owly, a ton of textual content, and a trending tune.


Am I sufficient?

♬ original sound – Chicks

Video two featured a Hootsuite staff member tapping away on her pc, with textual content a few “productiveness hack,” and a trending tune.


do this hack your self ??

♬ original sound – material growl ??

Video three showcased one other Hootsuite staff member engaged on a laptop computer poolside, with textual content explaining the seven-second development. This time, nevertheless, the video used unique audio of somebody counting right down to seven as an alternative of a trending tune.


DIY model of the #7secondchallenge

♬ original sound – Hootsuite

Now, we flip to TikTok analytics — and our TikTok professional Kwok! — to see if this trio of movies had been a #sevensecondsuccess.


TL;DR: The seven-second problem resulted in longer-than-average watch occasions and farther attain on the For You Web page.

In comparison with the common variety of views a Hootsuite TikTok video will get, the primary two movies, which used trending audio, carried out effectively — the second specifically, with virtually half one million views.

Additionally noteworthy: the watch time on these sizzling slices of content material.

Owly 5,190 714 31 2 8.8 seconds
Supervisor Tip 497K 8,204 54 99 8.2 seconds
Poolside 1,080 75 4 2 6.3 seconds

However what actually stood out to Kwok about this experiment was what number of of those views got here from the For You Web page.

“It’s the holy grail of TikTok,” says Kwok. “The upper the share of FYP views, the higher it does.”

Right here’s a more in-depth take a look at the analytics for every video:

Hootsuite Analytics video views by section and region

Hootsuite Analytics total play time

Analytics including play time watch time and video views by section

For the Owly video, 50% of the views got here from the For You web page: proof that it acquired some critical attain.

Much more spectacular was the FYP efficiency of the Supervisor Tip video, as a result of 100% (!) of the views got here from the For You Web page. (The truth is, the Supervisor Tip video continues to be performing effectively even weeks later, with likes and views rising day-after-day.)

As compared, the Poolside video, which garnered the bottom stats of all three of those experimental masterpieces, solely had 36% of views come from the For You Web page.

There have been a few components distinguishing the Poolside video from the opposite two that would account for this dip in efficiency. Primary, it used unique audio as an alternative of trending audio, and quantity two, the textual content didn’t actually provide a lot of a takeaway.

In different phrases: it veered away from the advisable construction of the seven-second problem, and may be proof that this hack, in contrast to so many different supposed TikTok fast fixes, does really work.

What do the outcomes imply?

From this little experiment, we’ve discovered first rate proof of some new TikTok practices to assist amp up your engagement and attain.

Longer textual content = longer watch occasions

It’s not stunning {that a} paragraph of textual content encourages viewers to stay together with your video longer — they’re prone to be tempted to learn the entire thing. Pique that curiosity and reap the engagement advantages.

“The extra textual content you might have on the display screen, the higher. It will increase watch time,” says Kwok. (Appears like we’re not simply scientists over right here on the Experiments Blog… we’re math wizards, too!)

However… what the textual content says issues

Sure, longer textual content makes a distinction. Nevertheless it shouldn’t simply be gibberish. (Sorry to any Minions or Sims studying this.) “There must be some level to it, whether or not it’s humorous or cheeky or informative,” says Kwok.

The primary two movies provided some leisure worth, whereas the textual content of video quantity three was form of just like the copy from a series electronic mail, which may probably account for the dearth of engagement right here.

The Supervisor Tip video specifically garnered a startling variety of shares, doubtless as a result of it had a transparent takeaway (even when it was probably-maybe-sort-of a joke). Movies with a lot of shares get an algorithmic enhance — TikTok desires everybody to get a style of share-worthy content material! — so take into account this your incentive to make use of textual content that provides useful sizzling ideas.

Maintain the video brief

One of many causes this problem could also be working is that it retains issues temporary. On TikTok, brevity is king.

“I’m not saying it needs to be seven seconds, however shorter is healthier,” advises Kwok. “Folks have brief consideration spans, particularly on TikTok.” Nonetheless lengthy the video is in complete, you’re not delivering worth in these first three seconds, you’re most likely too late.

… and maintain them watching

The algorithm favors movies with excessive watch occasions, so if there’s a method to hook the viewer and maintain them watching, do it. The lots-of-text trick is one method to stop them from skipping previous your video, however typically talking, creating participating video content material that’s entertaining and informative goes to serve you effectively.

What TikTok customers take into account entertaining and informative, although, is perhaps a matter for an additional experiment.

“There’s no proper reply,” laughs Kwok. “I’ll spend so lengthy on a video I believe is so humorous and get nothing, after which a video I spend no time on does tremendous effectively.”

Fortunately, it’s a platform that’s excellent for experimentation. Get creative, dig into the outcomes, and discover your individual excellent mix of content material. Is that as horny as a #sevensecondchallege? Perhaps not. However we’re certain you will discover a fun TikTok hashtag to throw on no matter you give you in any case.

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