Blog / Business / App Development

TikTok Like App: Why Social Media Streaming is so Popular?

  • Rating — 4.8 (68 votes)
  • by Igor
  • Updated on November 16, 2020
  • Read —
    11-12 minutes
TikTok app

By this time everyone have heard about TikTok at least once, since it is one of the most successful apps ever created. It has conquered hundreds of millions of young minds because of its viral popularity and edgy appeal. TikTok made Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat really afraid since its wild expansion and incredibly rapid growth came as a real surprise for us all.

TikTok is a phenomenon. It is a single most successful social media app ever created. What makes it different is the fact that TikTok is not an American invention, though some 50 million of its users are Americans. And they are crazy about TikTok. 

Why TikTok is so popular? What it takes to make such and app and what are its secrets? Is it a good business idea to make an app like TikTok? If yes, what it’s going to take?   

The Concept

The concept is easy – short 15 second videos of people all over the world performing what they like. TikTok’s essence feature is gamification that is absent on Instagram, Snapchat or Facebook where you primarily follow people from your inner circle that you already know. Unlike it, browsing TikTok is simply crazy, since it unites people from all over the world and makes you laugh out loud because of some really funny guy in India that dance on the roof of a house or a motorcycle rider chasing a chimpanzee and things like that.  

TikTok’s appeal is to a younger audience. Though the majority of its users are from India and China, it has been praised and widely used by more than 40 million Americans, especially teens and the forerunners of Generation Z. 

tiktok gif

Despite development efforts Facebook throws at Instagram and because of the slower growth rate of Snapchat, TikTok managed to become a unique app with the extreme level of user engagement. The social aspect and the challenges as well as the feeling of something exciting allowed TikTok to become so popular among teens and millennials. 

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TikTok Legal Issues – Data Gathering and Privacy Concerns of the American Citizens

As the slogan of one famous film goes, you can’t make a million friends without making a few enemies. Because TikTok is technically not a US company, the amount of data it has of the American users is enormous. And amidst a high number of data privacy scandals and a greater competition with China, US law regulators took notice of TikTok. It is, however, true that TikTok stores all the data of American users in America. But it can share it with China if it is ordered to do so.

It is known for a fact, though, that TikTok, like any other company from China, is 100% subjected to Chinese government and its ideological regulations. You may know that since we have recently covered the difference in how internet works in America/Europe and how it operates in China and Russia.

TikTok Popularity and Viral Fame

To be viral is the key when it comes to successful software development. To market your social media gaming app nothing serves the purpose better than a prospect of your product being truly addictive. And users of TikTok are eager to spend more time on the platform. That is because of the energetic cocktail mix of a wild array of things you can see there. 

To be viral is like being advertised in a self-replicating way for free virus-like. But TikTok is a quality app, the many functions of which do not compromise its quality and performance despite a lot of users. Compare it to Facebook that went down every month this year.  

tik tok dev

Lil X Nas Story

Who is Lil X Nas? He is a TikTok legend who produced the most engaging and viral flashmob, composing a catchy song. Lil X Nas went from being unemployed and sleeping on his sister’s couch to being placed on the cover of Time magazine in the matter of less than a year. That’s a kind of thing that happen on TikTok. 

Soon after Lil X Nas released his song Country Road that was pleasant to the ears of so many TikTok users, others started a challenge to copycat Lil X Nas. In the end he signed a contract and is now a professional musician. The story of Lil X Nas is a modern fable made real with the help of magnificent possibilities brought by new technologies. 

The app that makes such stories a reality works kind of like magic. TikTok’s feed is commented on by everybody from NewYorker to Washington Post because of how great it is. There are groups, challenges, hashtags and the competition for fame. If you want to make an app that’s going to have a similar impact on the audience, it may not even be a video streaming app but it definitely must have a social media gaming approach incorporated in its user story. 

Gamification and Other Features

Streaming functionality itself is in the core, yes, but it is a social gamification aspect that allowed TicTok to conquer the young minds. Instagram was marketed as a photo sharing social media feed. Snapchat made that to videos and Instagram quickly adopted its format (made stories) to continue being popular. 

There are numerous video streaming apps (Twitch, Meerkat, Periscope, etc) but it is gaming that the astounding variety of choice (thanks to the number of users) that make TikTok stand out.

The app has inside currency and payment gateways. Although, TikTok is already used by marketers for advertisement purposes, it doesn’t contain ads of its own.

The app is monetized because users compete for attention and fame. Using the inside currency (coins), they can upgrade and improve their status and increase their capabilities. TikTok is like a game where performers compete in making the best video that is funny, trendy and full of hype. And TikTok became addictive because it is first and foremost a game that poses challenges and delivers enormous audience for everybody who’d like to be noticed for his creativity, talents, and approach. 

Users can comment on the videos of each other, add friends, create challenges and groups, add many different effects and gain level ups. This is a lot of functionality but the variety of features is one of the things that make so many users lose their head in this wild app.    

1) Younger generations like to stream visual content, use video chats, and make silly videos 2) The abundance of many little socialization features (comments, likes, challenges) help to retain users inside the app 3) aggressive promotion coupled with excellent product deliver rapid growth
In-app purchases (done with in-app currency) and/or ad placement. For now TikTok uses the former but it can change once the rapid growth stops. Business owner is advised to consider that the monetization strategy should be picked in consideration with the amount of users (no ads for a small audience, no in-app purchases for a bigger audience, perhaps even no monetization at all in the beginning.)

Branding, Marketing, Promotion

TikTok attracted so much attention because of its appeal to Generation Z and Millenials. Short videos with the possibility to add sound and visual effects are used on TikTok to compete in flash mobs and complete challenges that make it the most engaging social media network, since it connects people all around the world based on the premise to allow free expression and emotional sharing without any second thoughts whatsoever. 

Why video streaming is so popular? Well, this is a future of communication. It started with phone calls, then there was texting and now it is streaming. Video messaging allows for a greater level of conversation engagement. The satisfaction that comes with seeing yourself on the screen along with better quality cameras and faster internet contributed to the widespread adoption of video streaming as a trending means of communication. 

TikTok made a lot of promotion and marketed itself to gain a lot of attention because user engagement was its #1 goal. It became the biggest social media phenomenon since Instagram and Snapchat.  

Make an App Like TikTok

We already covered Bigo Live and its popularity. SnapChat and Instagram stories are still very popular. All this implies that to develop a certain kind of social media video streaming app can be a very wise business decision. 

TikTok continues to grow and it is among 5 most downloaded apps ever (Facebook, FB Messenger, WhatsApp, Instagram) all of which belong to Facebook. In a recently revealed transcript of the internal Facebook meeting, Mark Zuckerbaerg declares that TikTok poses an existential threat to Facebook and that it behaves in an un-American way from many viewpoints. 

For example, Hong Kong protests were censored and scrubbed away from TikTok platform as a favor to Chinese government, though Messenger and WhatsApp are actively used by protesters to communicate regarding their opposition of Chinese state. 

The MVP for the app like TikTok would cost roughly $50 000 because it has rich functionality and should be able to work correctly when used by a high number of users simultaneously. 

Features Time (back-end included)  Cost
Basic options 347h $17,350
Advanced options 194h $9,700
Frameworks and libraries integration for back-end 30h $1,500
Frameworks and libraries integration for Android/iOS 49h/47h $2,450
UI/UX design for Android/iOS 102h $5,100
QA (for 1 app) 135h $6,750
Scrum Master (for 1 app) 70h $3,500
Total for 1 app ~927h ~$46,350
Total for 2 apps ~1854h ~$92,700

While everything is clear with the amount of money you need to develop and release TikTok like app, we understand that you might be interested in the development terms. How long will it actually take to deliver an app? And how much time does it take to develop each separate option? These are reasonable questions since you need to plan your time to market and other promotional activities beforehand. So we’ve prepared another one table showing how many hours is needed to build each option of TikTok like solution.

table cost

What features to add to your TikTok like app?

When you are building a solution similar to an existing one, it is crucial to pay special attention to its feature set. Since it has to offer if not unique then at least great options able to make it stand out among other competitors in the niche. So we have collected some options that are must-have for TikTok like app so that you can take a look at them and incorporate in your future solution.


Live video streaming
This is the second popular feature after video editing and sharing. Users of TikTok like apps like going online and communicate with their audience in real time.
QR code scanner
It is impossible to imagine social media apps without this feature since it lets users exchange profiles by scanning unique QR codes. It is easier than trying to find someone by their user name.
Geolocation
Why is it so necessary? Simply because it will let users check which app users are broadcasting nearby and join their live video session.
Advanced analytical tools
It is better to incorporate real-time analytics since it will let users check information related to their posts, likes, comments and viewers statistics.
Duets option
This is one of the most popular features used by TikTokers. It let’s you duet with another user and dance or lip-synch, or do various challenges.
Filters and effects
This is exactly where you can go creative and make your TikTok like app stand out. Add various beauty and color filters, spice them up with effects and users will be satisfied.

Top 5 Alternatives to the TikTok App


Tangi
Tangi is a social video sharing app from Area 120, Google’s workshop for experimental products. In which users will get to learn new things and they will also be able to share creative skills with friends.
Dumbmash
Dumbmash is probably one of the oldest music video apps for Android and iOS-based devices that lost a bit of its former glory with the rise of Musical.ly.
Funimate
The greatest advantage of using Funimate over TikTok- Including Musical.ly is the fact that you can create any style of music video you want. You can create slow-motion videos, compile several video clips into a compilation, make video loops and much more.
Cheez
If you choose to become the member of the Cheez community, you’ll be able to do much more than just produce lip-syncing videos, as some of the most popular video categories on this social network include vlogging, comedy videos or fashion.
Triller
Celebrities like Kevin Hart or Selena Gomez use Triller to record and edit their social media videos because the app makes this process simple. You just have to record the footage, and the auto-editing algorithm will do the rest for you.

Conclusion

To sum it all up we need to claim fair and square that TikTok is a very successful app and to develop a successful app you should follow the example of TikTok. It doesn’t mean copying it, though even Facebook did it. You should use the gamification aspect and a social appeal to a certain target audience. That’s the best advice TikTok can give. And you should make an app that looks fresh if you want it to become viral. Your approach should be similar to that of FaceApp with media outlets being astonished to have the reaction that TikTok got.  

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Igor I'm a tech journalist and market analyst. Software development, apps, tech trends, and digital innovations are all among my interests. Why? Simply, because it's the future. You can have more of that future in my blog entries. I have 5+ years of experience in online journalism and blogging but I've been a tech enthusiasts and even something of a geek my whole life. It is my pleasure to share with you the knowledge I have. Reading my articles, you can be sure to find expert opinions of senior developers, market tendencies, design tips, and info on outsourcing, business industries or specific Web and Mobile projects.

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