With millions of people using VPNs for both privacy reasons and to spoof their online location, it’s no surprise many are asking the question: Does a VPN affect TikTok views?
Those who use a VPN to secure their network may be wondering if it’s having a negative effect on their videos. Whereas those doing all they can to generate views may be wondering if a VPN can help.
The truth is, the way a VPN affects TikTok views depends on how you use it.
In some cases, it can have extremely positive results. In others, it can nerf your account completely.
Does a VPN affect TikTok views?
A VPN can help you get more views by changing your location to a more active region.
This is because TikTok’s algorithm has a strong geographical component. When your video is given its initial boost and the platform displays it to others to gauge interest, it will target users in your region first.
There’s some logic here. For example, people in India are more likely to watch videos from an Indian, due to language and culture.
However, if you’re a content creator aiming for global appeal, this mechanism can limit the number of views you get.
Although you can go viral in any region and TikToks that do well in their native country get natural and algorithmic exposure globally, the United States is often the most beneficial audience to reach.
That’s because the US has the largest and most active number of users. TikToks that build momentum in the US always reach the rest of the world. Moreover, the US has easier pathways to fame and monetization.
To get a clear answer, you must understand how TikTok works when it comes to others seeing your content.
Therefore, successfully spoofing your location to the US can increase views. However, it’s not as simple as firing up a VPN and choosing a US server.
Not only will TikTok not work with your VPN, but it can also shadow-ban your account and harm your views – sometimes permanently!
This is because TikTok has a strong no-VPN policy. The platform believes in its geographic algorithm and answers to advertisers, who spend money based on real geographic data.
If users can easily spoof their locations, advertisers are less likely to spend money.
There’s also the issue of bots and spammers who use VPNs to target TikTok users in specific regions or to artificially inflate spam content.
TikTok wants a clean and honest platform, which unfortunately means stifling genuine creators outside of the US looking for a larger audience.
Important: If you use a VPN to encrypt all internet activity for privacy reasons and aren’t looking for more views, turn it off when using TikTok or use the split tunneling feature to make TikTok an exception.
The good news? Not all is lost! You can still use a good VPN with TikTok to increase views. But it takes some extra steps to hide the fact you’re doing it.
How can VPNs impact TikTok views?
Most websites and apps use the IP address assigned by your ISP to determine your general geographic location. Using a VPN to filter the internet through a server in a different country effectively changes your visible IP address.
However, platforms like TikTok are a bit savvier and track other data to determine your location. That’s why basic region changing won’t work.
- Location Services – Your phone’s GPS data, which TikTok receives through the location permission.
- Historic Data – Your recorded location when you registered and last logged into TikTok.
- SIM and Mobile Phone Number – The country your SIM card and mobile phone number are associated with.
Furthermore, although TikTok can’t crack a VPN’s encryption, it can often tell you’re using one based on the protocol. If you have a free VPN or connect to a widely used server, its IP could also be blacklisted.
In order for a VPN to positively impact TikTok views and not damage your account, follow these best practices:
- Clear cookies and app cache – Before using a VPN, deleting your browser cookies and mobile app cache wipes your historic location data.
- Use a secondary mobile device with no SIM or a US SIM – A device that isn’t linked to your real country by SIM/phone number gives you a clean slate to use your account with a VPN.
- Create a new account – An even better option is to create a brand-new account to use with your VPN and secondary device. This stops TikTok from linking you to any historic location data.
- Spoof your GPS – Use a VPN that can also spoof your GPS location on mobile, such as Surfshark. Or at the least, turn off your mobile location service.
- Use stealth features – Stealth features help to hide you’re using a VPN. These include the stealth protocol, obfuscated servers, double VPN, and Onion Over VPN.
- Use a dedicated IP address – Your VPN provider assigns an IP just to you or a handful of others. It’s more likely to avoid bans and is also less suspicious than an IP that changes regularly.
So, does a VPN affect TikTok views? Yes, and not always in a good way.
However, if you’re smart about using a VPN alongside our other tips, it could let you reach a more active audience in the United States.