What Does 'Ratio' Mean on TikTok?

If you get ratioed, your commenters are getting more love than you are

"Ratio" is a term that appears across several social-media platforms, including TikTok and Twitter. While a ratio can have a couple definitions, they're generally something you want to avoid.

What Is a Ratio on TikTok?

A ratio in social media describes a particular relationship between different kinds of engagement. Two major things can create a ratio, but the specifics depend on the platform. Put simply, a ratio occurs when either:

  • A video has more comments than likes, or
  • A comment has more likes than the video it's replying to.

Both of these can happen on a single TikTok, but either is a ratio. The idea is that any time the ratio of comments to likes or comment likes to video likes is greater than 1:1, the original post has failed in some way. This "formula" is based on the idea that comments on social media are generally more negative than positive, so having more of them—or having one be more popular than the original post—means that more people dislike your TikTok.

In some cases, a post may also have a comment that only says, "ratio." This is a person asking everyone seeing the video to like this comment and make a ratio for the original post. The success of these comments usually depends on how well liked the video is. If people like the TikTok, they're far less likely to help a random person ratio it. This tactic is also pretty low-effort and less likely to succeed than a comment that makes a more considered or funny contribution to the conversation.

How Can I Tell if I've Been Ratioed?

You can quickly spot the first kind of ratio on your TikTok by looking on the right side of the screen. The two icons you want to compare are the heart (likes) and the speech bubble (comments). The numbers of each will appear below the symbols. If the comments are higher than likes, that's a ratio.

To find the other type of ratio, tap the Comments icon and look for one with more likes than the original. You'll see the number of likes a comment has to the right of its text.

The Like and Comment numbers on a TikTok, along with the number of likes on a comment

Is Receiving a Ratio Always Bad?

While the first kind of ratio (comments to likes) almost always means people mostly disagree with or dislike a TikTok, the second type isn't always bad. It depends on what the comment says. For example, if you post a joke, and then someone replies with a joke that more people like, that's not necessarily a loss for you.

Meanwhile, if you post something serious, and somebody makes fun of you in the comments, and more people respond favorably to the comment, you might want to reconsider your position.

Generally speaking, however, social-media users consider a ratio to be a bad thing.

  • What does "ratio L and W" mean on TikTok?

    These terms describe the success of a ratio, especially one a user asked everyone else to create. "L" and "W" mean "loss" and "win," so a "ratio l" means that the ratio was unsuccessful, while "ratio w" acknowledges that the ratio occurred.

  • What does "l+ ratio" mean on TikTok?

    Adding the plus sign to "ratio l" or "ratio w" means that the ratio attempt was especially good or bad. For example, an l+ ratio might receive zero likes, while a w+ gets several times as many likes as the original post or comment.

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