The Most In-Depth Breakdown of the X Algorithm You'll Ever Read

The Most In-Depth Breakdown of the X Algorithm You'll Ever Read
Photo by BoliviaInteligente / Unsplash

A year ago, Elon Musk made one of the most significant decisions in the history of social media.

Elon Musk open-sourced the X algorithm code. This changed the game forever. NEVER before has this type of access been granted to the inner workings of a social media platform. If code decides who shows up in the feed we must get to see how that code works. We will explore all the important snippets and the actions you need to take based on them.

*IMPORTANT NOTE*: The research presented below is based on the available X code. We will make every effort to distinguish between what is based on the code and what is our own observation. It should be noted that we do not necessarily agree with all the ways the code operates; we are merely presenting our interpretation of it.

What Takes Points of Your Reputation Score

Following too many people


Code that revises reputation based on follower ratio. In the existing algorithm code, everyone has a reputation. Many factors can have an impact on reputation score. One of those things is your follower/following ratio. If you follow significantly more people than are following you, your reputation gets lowered. Lowered reputation, lowered reach in the algorithm.

Unfollow anyone who you can, but don't do it all once not to get flagged. Just make sure you only follow people you are actually interested in reading.

Interacting with low-reputation accounts

The comments in the code that defines what Tweepcred is.

Your reputation score in the algorithm is called "Many factors can". This is an awful name for something that shouldn't exist anymore. Tweepcred uses the PageRank algorithm, similar to algorithms used with search engines. In search engines, the higher the reputation of websites that link to your website, the higher your website will rank.


It's similar with Tweepcred. The higher the reputation of accounts that engage with you, the higher your reputation is. For example, getting engagement from Elon instantly boosts your reputation. Ever notice accounts he engages with regularly appear on your feed?

It also works in reverse too. Engage with low-reputation accounts, and your reputation lowers. If you were to reply to an account that appears under the "Show additional replies" button, your reputation would lower, and your following posts would get less reach.


What does the 'show additional replies' button look like? I've heard from a large number of people that they replied to people under that button and immediately lost a large percentage of their reach. When they deleted those replies, they immediately got their reach back.

Talking about blacklisted topics


Code that checks to see if you mention blacklisted topics

X has a list of blacklisted topics. These are topics that when mentioned, would immediately lower your Tweepcred (trust me, I cringe every time I type it.) At the moment this list of topics is stored on the back end and is not open sourced. There is no possible way of knowing exactly which topics reduce your reach. This is a "use your own best judgement" situation.


X wants you on platform for as long as possible. And it makes sense, the longer you're on X, the more ad revenue the company receives. Using outside links in your posts directs people off the site, meaning less ad views for them.In a really obvious and self explanatory move, using links in your posts will reduce your reach. Ever notice posts with links always have a fraction of the reach of other posts? If you absolutely have to include links with your content, I would recommend writing a follow up post to your original post as a reply, and including the link there.

Being a jerk


Code that deboosts you for being 'offensive'

"Freedom of speech" does not mean freedom of reach. There is a deboost for being toxic on X.I would assume they have some sort of machine learning implemented that is able to detect the tone and subject matter of your post based on your languaging. If the machine learning determines you're being too toxic, you'll get the deboost and lose your reach. Helpful tip: don't be an A hole.



Here is a list of all the flags that can be automatically applied to your account. I'd go through the list above and make sure you're aware of what can and can't hurt you in your posts. A lot of flags around NSFW and violent content. Here's my mindset: if I'm not sure if a piece of content is NSFW or not, I just don't post it. I'd prefer not to take risks.


What Boosts You:

Thoughtful replies that get author engagement

Reply guy strategy is the best strategy for growth on X.

I stand by this for many different reasons. One of those reasons is the code backs me up. One way to get more visibility is to get replies from the original author when you reply. A lot of people who reply on X are unbelievably lazy. They'll reply with a couple of emojis or one word. This does absolutely nothing for you. What you need to aim for is responses from the original author. The only way to do this is with thoughtful replies.

  • Say why you agree with the author
  • Why you disagree
  • A personal story that related to the post

Either way, just be thoughtful. It will only help you in the long run. Last thing you want to do is spam or be lazy.

Post more videos


You've probably noticed a lot more videos on your feed lately. This is for good reason, they're getting pushed HEAVILY by the algorithm. Elon clearly wants X to replace some other big video sites out there. One way to do this is get more eyes on video content. It's pushed in the algo code several ways. One with the flag above, but another just because people spend longer periods of time on video content. It takes a longer time to watch a video than it does to read a post. More time spent on content, the more the content gets pushed. That's why videos are getting pushed so heavy. If you haven't experimented with video yet, this is your sign.

Elon wants X to be the destination for citizen journalists. One way he does this is by giving boosts to trending topics and posts with news in them. Staying on trend is an excellent way to help your content get seen by more people. Take a look at the explore page. See what topics and stories are trending. Think of a take or opinion you can provide. Share it out. You have a way higher chance of getting seen by more people.

The algorithm basically comes down to this: create content people want to consume beginning to end and don't be a jerk. You do this by creating compelling content and being kind to others. There really aren't any algo hacks. There's no ways to cheat. There are little things you can do to be seen by more people like include video, but more important than any of that is you need to create good content. Focus on creating the highest quality content possible, the rest will fall into place.