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A Comprehensive Guide To Create An App Like TikTok

App Development

Mar 2021
3102 Views 13 Minute Read
a comprehensive guide to create an app like tiktok
Our lifestyle has been significantly impacted by the advent of the latest technologies such as mobile apps, AR/VR, AI, blockchain, and whatnot. With the constant flow of the latest technologies in the market, consumer demands have also risen. This gives birth to more technological growth to deliver a great user experience and convenience. Mobile apps have also been one such technology to revolutionize how we accomplish our daily tasks. Not only convenience, but it also excels in the entertainment domain, offering various video streaming platforms such as Netflix, Amazon PrimeHotstar, Spotify, etc.
Tiktok is one such app that never fails to entertain the users in this sector. It has become a matchless and major revolution in the entertainment world. This engaging versatile mobile app is available on both Android and iOS. It has ruled the world of billion users worldwide, and tons of businesses improve their presence in the platform for leveraging lots of benefits that the app has to offer.
This blog will help you create a mesmerizing short video-creation app like TikTok. We will go through the app's monetary & technical side and, eventually, the cost it takes to develop an app like TikTok. Before processing the article, let's first look at the app, how it works, and how it became one of the most trending apps globally.
Introduction To TikTok App
It's a short video making & sharing app that allows users to shoot and share a 3-15 seconds video with its powerful effects & filters. You can deliver a message, fun, dance, comedy, or anything with these short videos. It's a complete entertainment app and about displaying your talent to the people globally.
TikTok is the international version of the Chinese hit platform, Douyin. It took a brief time to penetrate and rule the mobile app industry. It facilitates users to re-enact their preferred scenes and lip-sync dialogs from multiple music videos & films. TikTok has become a helpful entertainment app for nearly every teen across the globe.
TikTok contains AI features that enable its every move and wins over a broad range of famous businesses worldwide with its income and engagement figures. Let's look at the key statistics that prove how trending and vast the TikTok market is and how you can build an app like TikTok.
How TikTok Works?
how tiktok works
TikTok is a short video making & sharing app that helps app users create and share videos on the internet. It enables users to upload brief videos & film content. Above that, users can alter their videos as the app provides many editing effects, filters, etc. Moreover, TikTok is a suitable platform to display talents and share knowledge with a vast audience. You can modify a video into a live wallpaper using TikTok, and you can save them in the settings.
After installing the app, app users can begin using it without logging in. Limitless videos will welcome you. You can sign up yourself for following people & watching their videos. Since TikTok is used too much, it has included a remainder after 90 mins of viewing continually.
TikTok will notify you that you have been watching videos for 90 mins thus offering you a timely reminder. The app knows that it will make you addicted, and you will view the videos constantly for several hours.
Facts And Figures About TikTok
- To date, it is 2020's most installed app.
- App users spend almost  52 mins every day on TikTok.
- Over 1 billion videos are watched every day on TikTok.
- TikTok has around 100 million US users actively using it.
- Globally, TikTok revenue has reached USD 75 million in 2019's first half.
- In-app purchases are the primary revenues, and they bring USD 3.5 million each month.
- Almost forty TikTok celebs have more than 10 million followers. This shows how much the app community is building.
Now, let's take a close look at how this TikTok works and why it has become so popular.
Must-Have Features While Creating An App Like TikTok
What makes this video-creation app so famous and unique? Below are some significant features that help you develop an app like TikTok:
1. Creating Profiles
App users should sign up and create profiles for using TikTok. The app enables the user to sign in using social media platforms.
2. Creating & Uploading Videos
Making and uploading videos are TikTok's basic features. Videos are the most appealing content as users can feel, view, and hear the content living that experience. And this is what TikTok used ideally. It not only permits users to create videos but also be popular.
3. Modifying Videos
TikTok also lets users modify their videos easily. Thus, you don't have to install other video editing apps and do the modifications. The editing is simple to make your video appear as if it was shot by a professional in just a few mins. Only in half an hour you can have the final product with you.
4. Effects & Filters
Typical videos always look boring. Therefore, TikTok allows users to use some fantastic effects such as zoom, slo-mo, and others for creating a video with special effects.
5. AR Filters
You can include this feature in your TikTok-like video app too. Include an object in a video, and you can change the video background, add characters, and even engage with all characters. You can even use AR filters for shooting advertisement videos. This will help your users in creating brand awareness.
6. Including Soundtracks
This feature helps you display your acting and dancing talent globally. You can use the theme song of a movie or include some awesome background music in the videos.
7. Social Shares & Likes
This feature makes this app a famous social channel. Every artist seeks motivation and love, and this feature does the same. App users can use the heart tab to like a video and share tabs to share videos with others.
8. Creating Slideshows
TikTok is not only about creating videos, but you can use your photos to make a superb slideshow. You can even use unique effects, background music, and filters.
9. Duet Videos
Video makers can be connected with this feature's help. TikTok helps you make a video with someone who stays far away. You can utilize this duet function for sharing half the screen with your partner to create videos with them anywhere & anytime.
10. Live Streaming
This app even lets you go live and engage with your audience. But a user must have at least 1000 followers for unlocking the live streaming feature. Also, over 16 years old can only go live. The live streaming feature is a bonus for you if you are above 18 years.
11. QR Code Scanner
All TikTok users get an exclusive QR code after signing up. They can use it for finding a person or scan it for including someone else. They can also share someone's QR code for suggesting him to others.
12. Tailored Feeds
The #ForYou is the tailored feed for all TikTok users. This feed shows videos of your choices. TikTok algorithms can recognize your likings and suggest videos you will love. The app provides a customized experience and ensures that its users never get bored.
13. Geolocation
This feature helps discover all closeby video bloggers broadcasting live. If you prefer them, simply click and enjoy their live streaming.
All these features are the reasons behind TikTok's revolutionary success. You can build a more useful app than TikTok by utilizing unique elements and making a more indulging interface.
Unique Features That Made Tik Tok Famous
The app provides some fantastic features that can make things much entertaining and fun for people. We know that TikTok is not a straightforward app. Unlike other apps, this works widely on multimedia sharing by altering the videos as and when you want. Include filmy songs, your favorite film dialogues, and so forth in your video and allow that actor in you to see the spotlight and present its talent in public.
As you step towards making a TikTok-like social video app, it is essential to understand their primary features that made this app trending. Below are the primary functions for TikTok app development.
It facilitates its users to watch millions of musical videos
The only way to gain success in making a music video maker app is to provide something different and multi-faceted to your app users. Permit your users to explore more and have fun. TikTok enables users to watch an endless number of musical clips and render the features that set this app apart from others.
The app users can shoot many short videos of 15-second
This app made the most of the opportunity in its hands and evolved smart devices into a mobile studio. It is super fun for its users to create fun videos with its cutting-edge tech and outstanding features. One of them is that it allows the users to short videos of mere 15 seconds only for fun. Enabling your users to short brief videos is essential. Moreover, the users can share the short videos on social media platforms, pick sound from multiple categories and directly record and modify the clips.
App users can choose background music & create magical clips with the special effects it offers
The audience that TikTok focuses on is the new generation. And as a startup, if you decide to target a young crowd through your TikTok-like app, then providing special effects features is integral. The user-friendly & fun special effects provided by TikTok enables users to shoot entertaining clips. The photo capturing tech and AI solutions makes it feasible to incorporate special effects into the app.
The app permits its users to share their videos on various social media platforms
Using this lip-sync app, app users make lip-sync music video clips of mere 15 seconds and later share them on various social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Messenger, and Whatsapp. Therefore, it's evident that allowing users to share video clips on different social media platforms is essential for an app like TikTok. Eventually, with its awe-striking offerings, TikTok indeed has broken all records set by YouTube, Facebook, Snapchat, and Whatsapp. A report by SimilarWeb claims that the app's usage rank is continuously going uphill, and according to the latest trends by Google Trend, the interest in the app has increased with time.
These are some extra features that the app development team considers to develop exclusive, user-friendly, & exciting solutions.
Steps To Develop An App like TikTok
steps to develop an app like tiktok
Below are the essential steps to follow to build an app like TikTok:
1. Perform Research On Your Target Audience
It would help if you considered your target audience when developing a video-creation app like TikTok. When you understand your audience's needs, you can build the app more easily, and it ultimately gives you a better product. Hence, start performing your research using the below:
- Behavioral Trends: Think of what reduces the user's need for installing an app, their safety expectations, and more.
- Demographics: Verify your users' average age, which devices they use, where they live, etc.
2. Choose a Business Revenue Model
Further, it would help if you chose a business revenue model. When you already know your users' needs, you can expect what they will pay you for. Therefore, below are the top five revenue models for you to pick from:
- Freemium: This model allows users to install your app completely free. They can further pay for upgrading their accounts and using premium features.
- Premium: This simple model permits users to pay once for accessing your app.
- Ad: You can pick any one of the following ad preferences:
Cost Per Click: You can charge advertisers when an app user engages with their ads in your app.
Cost Per View: Charge your advertisers for every 1000 ad impressions in your app.
Cost Per Action: Only charge advertisers when an app user completes a target action, such as registering for a newsletter or downloading an app.
- In-App Purchase: App users can pay for multiple features, products, or content inside your apps, such as special filters, gifts, & stickers.
- Fundraising: Reports claim that the high-class investors have invested in TikTok, and the amount is more than USD 3 billion. Fundraising is an excellent way of accumulating funds and making profits. If you have planned to launch your app or the app is already doing great, fundraising can boost a considerable amount for your app. Therefore, you don't need to stress about money for app development or anything else.
3. Recruit An Experienced Mobile App Development Company
You should pick a trustworthy, experienced app development company to work with you. The first development phase will implement business assessment, developing the tech specs, analyzing the app development costs, and planning the project.
Before developing your app, the team will create a development workflow, choose the app's main features, and craft an app idea. Eventually, the development team will build milestones for the project and start working on the MVP.
4. Build A Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
Since app development like TikTok is a complex task, you are advised to launch an MVP first and test its business & technical functionalities. Using the MVP method, you can discover what app users prefer and don't prefer in your app. Ultimately, you can consider their reviews and improve your app.
How To Build An App Like TikTok: Required Team & Technologies
To build a TikTok-like app, you need to recruit a development team and consider the technology stack for your future app.
- UI/UX designer
- Business analyst
- Project manager
- Back-end developers
- iOS developer
- Android developer
- Quality assurance engineer
There are 2 primary ways to cooperate with IT experts. Firstly, recruit an in-house team or an outsourcing company. Each option has advantages and limitations. For instance, it's easier to interact with in-house developers, but there are many extra expenses such as equipment, rent, and others. Whereas outsourcing companies provide affordable hourly rates and the superior quality of the final product.
Several modern technologies can be utilized to develop an app like TikTok. In native mobile app development, you need to pick a programming language like Swift (iOS) & Kotlin (Android). Moreover, if you choose cross-platform development, software developers can use flutter app development services.
To provide you a clue, we've listed the approximate technology stack to create an app like TikTok.
Android App
- Programming language: Kotlin
- Networking: OkHttp 3
iOS App
- Programming language: Swift
- Networking: Alamofire
Back-end development
- Programming language: Node.js
- Cloud: Azure or AWS
- Framework: Express 4
- Database: SQL, MySQL, MongoDB
- Signup: Amazon SES, Amazon SNS
- Storage: Amazon S3
- Real-time analytics: Google Mobile App Analytics and Azure stream analytics
- Notifications: Apple Push Notification Service for iOS & Google Cloud Messaging for Android
- AR-filters: ARCore, ML Kit
- Chat: Twilio
- Geolocation: MapKit/Core Location frameworks (for iOS), Google Maps API, 
Today, there are 2 well-known platforms, Android & iOS, so which one to choose? The answer to this is that you need apps for both platforms if you want to create an app like TikTok.
But if you lack a budget, you can pick one platform depending on your target audience & their preferences. For example, Instagram was first introduced on iOS. The android version was launched a year and a half later.
Moreover, iOS development needs 20 percent or even 30 percent less time in comparison to Android. This is because more devices run on Android. Henceforth, it's essential to offer support for multiple screen resolutions and OS versions.
The app's design is always a challenge since it needs a decent amount of money & time.
App users are quite demanding nowadays. Easy to use and intuitive UI and UX design can help drive new users and gain their trust & loyalty.
To make an app like TikTok, you must prepare a list of needed features ahead of time. The no. of features and their complexity are the primary components of the app development cost. To develop an advanced feature for your TikTok-like app, the app developers need more time.
App Development Team & Cost
app development team and cost
How to make an app like TikTok? There are 2 main options: hire in-house app developers or outsource a mobile app development company. Each option has pros and cons. In-house development seems to be more costly since there are expenses like software and hardware purchases, rent, taxes, and more. But, the communication process is more flexible. While outsourcing a mobile app company has become trending nowadays. These agencies offer various hourly rates based on their location. Thus, you can choose the company that fits your budget. For example, app developers from North America have high hourly rates, but India has low hourly rates.
Therefore, all the factors mentioned above determine the cost of your overall app. In case you are deciding to build an app like TikTok, it will cost you approximately $60k to $80k. This is a basic amount, but it might increase if you include more features to the app, such as AI, blockchain, and advanced animation, to manage your app's in-app purchase section.
The Bottom Line
For creating a video-creation app like TikTok, you should ensure that app users can make content easily & quickly. Indulge celebs and brands, pick the right target audience, and provide app users the money-making opportunities.
To build a TikTok-like app, you will have to choose a revenue model, recruit an expert development team, and develop an MVP to test how the product works.
TikTok is famous for its powerful value proposition. Therefore, rather than creating a TikTok clone, you are advised to take inspiration from the app and make your ideas on developing a video streaming social app.
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Harnil Oza is the CEO & Founder of Hyperlink InfoSystem. With a passion for technology and an immaculate drive for entrepreneurship, Harnil has propelled Hyperlink InfoSystem to become a global pioneer in the world of innovative IT solutions. His exceptional leadership has inspired a multiverse of tech enthusiasts and also enabled thriving business expansion. His vision has helped the company achieve widespread respect for its remarkable track record of delivering beautifully constructed mobile apps, websites, and other products using every emerging technology. Outside his duties at Hyperlink InfoSystem, Harnil has earned a reputation for his conceptual leadership and initiatives in the tech industry. He is driven to impart expertise and insights to the forthcoming cohort of tech innovators. Harnil continues to champion growth, quality, and client satisfaction by fostering innovation and collaboration.

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