I tried to go viral on TikTok in just one week and here’s what happened

One video got 300k views

You can become viral from doing anything on TikTok. ANYTHING. There’s are all kinds of viral videos out there, from reuploads of memes that people find on Insta to full-blown productions that take days, but we’re all at mercy to one thing – the TikTok algorithm. Nobody quite knows how it works or what needs to be done to appease it, but occasionally it seems people do something right and their video becomes viewed by thousands overnight. And I want a slice of that pie.

Famous TikTokers are the biggest bunch of clout chasers about, and I’m 100 per cent one of them (a clout chaser, not a celeb TikToker… yet) so over the course of a week I made several TikToks in a desperate and half-arsed attempt to achieve viral stardom. Ironic display picture set so that people knew I wouldn’t be taking this seriously, equally ironic emoji to say the same, and I was ready. From least to most viewed, here’s what I came up with.

1. British pub

@ainsworthharryAmericans: “I want to go to a British pub 🥰” British pubs:♬ original sound – Harry Ainsworth 😔

Views: 457
Likes: 23
Comments: 0

Right off the bat I knew that sleuthing through my camera roll was going to be the easiest way to achieve views for little effort. Noticing an emerging trend of Americans coming to the UK and making a load of videos about the quirks of our culture, I found a video I took of a local guy SPED to fuck in a grotty Stoke Newington pub that looked perfect, so added the caption:

“Americans: I want to go to a British pub 🥰
British pubs:”

Safe to say, with 457 views and 23 likes to show for it, this clearly wasn’t as entertaining as I thought.

2. Mannequin head

@ainsworthharryHELP WHERE AM I ##fyp ##headless ##help♬ original sound – Harry Ainsworth 😔

Views: 540
Likes: 24
Comments: 1

This time I found a video of myself donning a polystyrene head under my shirt and writhing around in my old student house. What more is there to say? With one comment (from my old housemate) and only 24 likes, I still wasn’t making as big an impression as I’d have liked.


@ainsworthharryRACHEL ADEDEJI ##xfactor ##beers♬ original sound – Harry Ainsworth 😔

Views: 912
Likes: 44
Comments: 1

Okay, so if there was any video that I naturally assumed would go viral from my camera roll, it was this one. It’s got the perfect amount of stupidity, it’s short and sweet and my mate Tom does a fantastic impression of the X Factor voice. What more could you want? However, it clearly wasn’t to be – with a touch under 1,000 views I was still flopping HARD.

4. Rating my stick and poke tattoos

@ainsworthharryRating my stick and poke tattoos ##fyp ##stickandpoke ##tattoo ##rating♬ mario sound – mandycap

Views: 1069
Likes: 88
Comments: 4

Having grown weary from reuploading boring content that nobody was watching, I decided to make a video native in the app to see if that had any impact on my views. Having seen the “rating” trend, I thought it was a perfect time to show off some of the stupid drawings that cover my arms and legs.

This seemed to do the trick, and gave me my video in the 1,000 club. From this point on I decided to start making content in the app… until this happened.

5. The wine incident

@ainsworthharryJack got wine’d my guy 🤙🏻 ##fyp♬ SexyBack – Justin Timberlake

Views: 300,000
Likes: 27,000
Comments: 149

Although this was the second video I uploaded after RACHEL ADEDEJI, it clearly struck a chord with people after a few days. All of a sudden I woke up to 5,000 views, then 10. Before I knew it, I was getting a load of TikTok notifications every minute.

It’s not clear exactly what happened in the video itself, but Charlie appears to knock Jack’s glass of wine and it goes all over him. Charlie’s non-apologetic reaction is nothing short of enraging, but we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt for being just as sloshy as the rest of us.

It’s safe to say that the comments section liked Ryan a lot

I didn’t realise that I’d be inundated with so many thirsty comments from what is essentially someone getting wine thrown over them, but that’s exactly what happened when people noted Ryan and Jamie in the background – I considered auctioning their Insta @’s to the highest bidder but it felt immoral.

So, on my journey to viral stardom, I uploaded around 10 videos in the week, deleted half of them for fear of getting rinsed in the group chat (none of them did well anyway) and managed to get a pretty nicely circulated video in the process.

Overall this is testament to the fact that no hashtags, no upload schedule and no filming process will favour anyone differently. It really is potluck if you get views or you don’t, and it boils down to this – if it’s funny and relatable, it will more likely get views than if it isn’t. End of.

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