TikTok algorithms: How the platform's hashtags evolve over time

Data Publication

In August 2022, we published our analysis of the hashtags used on German TikTok over the summer. We have continued our work since then and are now providing an updated overview that visualises the changes over time: 


The infographic contains the 200 most common hashtags used on videos that new TikTok users in Germany will see on their ForYou feed. Up to today, our automated analysis has collected the metadata of nearly 2 million videos uploaded to TikTok. The data shows that entertainment is the main topic on TikTok: Videos with the #funny hashtags or relaxing videos related to #asmr and #cleaning are consistently pushed to users. But we can also identify hypes and challenges like #4tones4dance or #didyouyawn in September and October 2022. World events like the death of #queenelizabeth, the #worldcup in December or the devastating earthquake in February 2023 in Turkey and Syria (#deprem) are represented in the graph. But the data can, of course, also show what’s absent: politics. Besides the #standwithkashmir hashtag, which has also been used for non-political content, only a few topics related to the political situation worldwide seem to have been heated for users in Germany. 


This analysis is part of the project Analysis of AI-based Recommender Systems. Previously, the authors published an audit approach. The analysis part of an upcoming audit of TikTok.


Published by: 
Stiftung Neue Verantwortung
March 16, 2023

Dr. Martin Degeling