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What does "ratio" mean on TikTok?

What are they TikTalking about?
By
May 3, 2022

It can be hard to keep up with the latest memes, as social media is an evolving landscape. While the term “ratio” originally started on Twitter, it has taken on a life of its own on TikTok. Here’s everything you need to know about TikTok ratios and the various contexts they can arise in.

Read more: What does “ratioed” mean on Twitter, and how can you spot it?

SHORT ANSWER

TikTok users will reply to a comment with the term “ratio" to get more likes than the comment they responded to. If successful, this is taken to demonstrate that most people disagree with the original statement.

What does “ratio” mean on TikTok?

While reading the comments on a TikTok video, you’ve probably come across the term “ratio.” You’ll notice it’s only ever used in reply to another comment, and that’s because the respondent is usually trying to prove something. Namely, that the majority of TikTokers disagree with the original comment.

The pattern goes something like this: someone posts a comment, and someone else replies to that comment with “Ratio.” Then, the “ratio” comment either gets more likes than the comment they responded to, or it doesn’t. If they successfully “ratio,” others will reply with “W,” which is short for win or winner. If they fail, others might respond with “L,” which stands for loser or loss.

ratio 1
Adam Birney / Android Authority

In other words, a ratio is a shorthand method of putting a particular opinion to a vote via likes. A TikTok video can even be ratioed if a specific comment gains twice as many likes as the video itself.

Where did “ratios” come from?

You might be thinking, “why do people do this? Can’t they write their disagreement?” Well, as with any human behavior, trends often follow the path of least resistance, and taping a like button is much easier than typing out a thoughtful response.

Additionally, “ratios” are primarily attributable to the lack of a dislike button on TikTok. If there were a means to dislike a video, such as with YouTube (although Youtube has now hidden the number of dislikes from view), then the ratio would be expressed between the likes and dislikes.

youtube dislikes
Adam Birney / Android Authority

Without a dislike button, the term “ratio” acts as a stand-in for a dislike option for other users to select. The same reasoning created ratios on Twitter. Unlike Twitter, however, where replies to a tweet can number in the hundreds, comments on TikTok get fewer replies, often less than 50. So while Twitter ratios occur between the number of likes and replies, TikTok ratios are typically measured by likes.

Are all TikTok ratios bad?

So far, it sounds like ratios are just a way for anonymous TikTokers to dogpile on a person. However, people have recently started ratio threads just for fun. For example, a mini-game of sorts has spawned in comment sections where someone will reply with “ratio 1:1.” In those cases, the user invites others to keep the number of likes on their comment precisely the same as the original comment.

ratio 1 1
Adam Birney / Android Authority

In the above example, you can see that both comments have 25.9K likes. For this to happen, over 50,000 TikTok users had to work together to keep these numbers the same. Additionally, two further replies each had an equal amount of 1145 likes. The only purpose of this is the challenge of maintaining numerical consistency.


Read more: How to delete a TikTok account

FAQs

What does ratio L and W mean on TikTok?

L and W stand for “Lose” or “Win” and typically indicate whether or not a ratio was successful.

What aspect ratio is TikTok?

Tik Tok videos are 9:16, the same as a standard smartphone screen. 1:1 is also possible, but it won’t take up the whole screen.