How To Develop a World-Class App Like TikTok?

How To Develop a World-Class App Like TikTok?

TikTok is a video sharing mobile app that has around 150 million active daily users, while the global mobile app has three times more subscribers. TikTok features short videos that can be uploaded and edited. It is Chinese in origin, with over 500 million active users.

It caters to the entire music-loving community of the world and has become the fastest-growing mobile app in the least amount of time, causing a race for app developers to create more similar apps. The iOS version has a smooth UX/UI. There are now 150 million daily users of TikTok, showcasing its rapid growth across the world.

How App Works?

  • Users are supposed to lip-sync to favorite songs while entertaining in the form of dance etc. and upload the videos. One can watch videos by other users and also interact with them and their content. The app allows users to set up live pictures and live videos as their wallpaper. Short videos can be created and shared across social media platforms, spruced with special effects, stickers, live effects, and filters.
  • The videos get segregated under various categories on TikTok; groups such as dangerous, funny, informative and entertaining and head-turning. The app is an intimate entertainment platform, which catches users at their vulnerable, joyous moments, creating precious memories. Users can display their knowledge and talent on TikTok.
  • Users can also upload their favorite music and sound videos for others to watch. There is an editing apparatus to make the videos animated, funny with various sounds, music, and filters. Music is divided into genres such as R&B, electronica, rock, pop, and rap, making TikTok and all-around entertainment app for music lovers.

Why TikTok is So Popular?

How To Develop a World-Class App Like TikTok?

There are over a hundred features and filters on TikTok. Videos can be embellished with emoji stickers, making them more and more entertaining and sometimes outright funny.

The editing features on the app are simple and realistic that allows trimming, cutting, merging of videos. Users of TikTok can also duplicate the videos. No wonder the app is one of the hottest selling in app stores.

Selling like hot cakes

According to iOS for Q12018, TikTok has far surpassed other favorite apps such as Youtube, Whatsapp, and Facebook Messenger is the most downloaded non-gaming mobile app category. According to Sensor Tower, the rest ranked from second to fourth, respectively.

The app is owned and run by Bytedance, founded in 2012 by Yiming Chang. It is also called Douyin, not TikTok, in China where the app originates. The app now has over 500,000 users, on average at any given moment. Can you imagine what that means for TikTok’s popularity!

The Advent of TikTok

It was just recently that Chang purchased under his company Bytedance. Chang marketed the app as TikTok and spruced up its features amid a lot of pomp and glory as had already created a niche for such apps. All the accounts get migrated from to TikTok.

Bytedance, in its profile, stated:

'We saw an opportunity to combine the power of AI with the growth of mobile internet to revolutionize the way people consume and receive information. Bytedance enables people to enjoy content powered by machine learning and AI technology.

In the first quarter of the year 2018 itself, TikTok gets downloaded for 45.8 million times just during the three months. Presently, the app has more than 45 million daily active years in China, and this is way more than other social media platforms.' was launched in 2014 by Alex Zhu on the Play Store and App Store and had more than 100 million active monthly users. TikTok, however, is way bigger than its parent

What Makes TikTok Popular?

There are several reasons TikTok ranks high on popularity.  

  • It has a simple user interface that is vital for users to do a lot within the app without worry and hassle, making the experience fun, extremely easy-going, and highly entertaining.
  • When downloaded, TikTok goes directly into feed, showing the prominent user videos.
  • The number of hearts measures the new and famous videos, making the user long for more after the first few moments scouring the app. The user invariably wants to return for more and more.
  • There is a ‘For You’ tab integrally designed for the user based on an algorithm, recommending to the TikTok user videos he may like based on previously liked videos, making the experience user-friendly and entertaining.

Development Costs of App like TikTok

TikTok has a smooth UX/UI finish and is among the fastest-growing apps in the world. A few other examples of such apps are Dubsmash, Funimate, Vigo, Triller, etc.

The question has always been - How Much Does It Cost To Make An App? Let’s explore that.

The development cost should be around $25000 to create a TikTok like app with basic functionalities for a single platform.

However, in case you intend to add more features and create the app for multiple platforms, then the cost may go up to $35000-$40000 when getting the app developed in the Indian region.

What more features made TikTok famous? Let’s have a look.

Top Features Of TikTok

I ‘heart’ TikTok—Like the Video but you don’t have to follow the Uploader

Liked a video but don’t want to follow the Uploader yet? Well, double-tap and send a heart. It’s a non-committal way of making friends on TikTok, making the heart the virtual currency.

The same feature gets applied in other social media platforms, but there’s a difference. The Uploader can create a bank by counting all the hearts received ever! Therefore, there’s a parameter here to gauge the popularity and reach.

The live feature of TikTok is called Live-Ops, working as enhancements to the total game experience. It is fresh, it is full, and it keeps users active. The hashtags feature is like Instagram again, but again with a difference.

Like Twitter, it uses only new trending hashtags. There is an algorithm to seed the most popular and trending hashtags. There are challenges like @GlobalChallenge, for example, each week to keep users busy. It is the talking point of TikTok.

A Workman is No Good Without His Tools

One of the enticing features of the TikTok app is its wide array of available tools. The tools comprise filters, AR effects, and render the app supremely amazing. The user can quickly edit, cut down, play around with speed and do a lot more.

For developing an app like TikTok, you need to know the basics of app development. You need to know first - How To Make An App. It will surely help you all in the long run.

Socialize and Network

How To Develop a World-Class App Like TikTok?

  • The TikTok app allows users to socialize with its duet feature, where one user lip-syncs and then hashtag #Duetwithme. The other joins and voila! You have a duet and a new friend! People from different backgrounds, social strata, social standing, come together to duet.  
  • Besides all this, TikTok also allows the users to merge their accounts with their Instagram and Facebook profiles.
  • TikTok allows uploaders to use their original sound, thus letting them showcase their full potential in their videos in front of the audience. The trending hashtags feature allows more socializing and networking. The library of music available is for all to hear and share.
  • Popular videos can also make money, making TikTok a platform to earn some dough. Users of TikTok can also share other videos and pictures with their new global friends.
  • The special effects feature allows users to play around with background scores and create different types of clips with the same song.
  • Of course, apart from forwarding created works on other social media platforms, the app also allows users to like, comment and of course ‘heart videos’. If you like the work of a particular user, you can share their profiles with other users to increase their popularity.


The app is available on both Android and iOS and works well on both platforms. Its privacy features include real-time analytics in which the administrator can analyze live viewers and broadcasters with graphical accuracy, getting real-time information and insights into app usage and data to help in future video-making processes.

Some Things to Keep In Mind While Developing the App

When streaming videos make sure the user is using an external server and that the mobile app is light. The broadcasting stream passes via the server to the user device. After use, it automatically gets deleted from the server.

Cloud servers are a necessity for video streaming. Servers also need to be scaled as the number of users, and uploaders are burgeoning. When saving videos, it must be on the external device to keep the app light. Videos are copyrighted.

Users can find broadcasts according to their locations and geographical regions, and there is a map allowing users to choose videos. Live videos are in blue; the others marked in red.

The push notification feature keeps the user notified without actually being on the app. You may like a channel, broadcast, or user and get notified when they are live. There are also scheduling features on the TikTok app, allowing users to record future broadcasts.

Some New Safety Features of TikTok

How To Develop a World-Class App Like TikTok?

  • The anonymous TikTok shut a while ago for sending messages to or receiving messages from those with whom users are not connected. The new messaging system is added, keeping the safety and privacy terms in mind for the TikTok community. 
  • With the time lock feature, TikTok offers additional tools to parents and legal guardians to help teens while using the app. New functionality allows parents to set a limit on how much time kids can spend using the app. Apart from that, it offers age-appropriate view notification banners for the videos that may be inappropriate for younger audiences.

TikTok by rebranding the app with a new name and is forcing the old users to migrate to a new platform has created a bigger and better app. All the changes made are part of TikTok’s persistent effort to improve the experience of its users. Moreover, TikTok’s advanced features complement its existing algorithmic make-up.

The Launch of TikTok Lite and the Further Progress of TikTok Lite

  • TikTok hasn’t yet made much fuss over its Lite version, which consists of two separate apps. The first was launched on August 6, 2018, in Thailand, but is now available across other primarily Asian markets, including Indonesia, where it’s most popular, as well as Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines.
  • It has also now installed across 15 additional non-Asian countries, including Egypt, Brazil, Algeria, Tunisia, Russia, Ecuador, South Africa, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Kenya, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Nigeria, Angola, and Ghana.
  • Combined, the two TikTok Lite apps have gained more than 12 million downloads in around six months, TechCrunch confirmed with Sensor Tower.
  • However, TikTok Lite is not heavily promoted at this time — especially when compared with the outsize marketing that TikTok’s flagship app has been seeing as of late.
  • This version of TikTok Lite has grown to 5 million installs since its August debut. This second version of TikTok Lite has now become the larger of the two, thanks to India. It has around 7.1 million total downloads, according to Sensor Tower data.
  • This advertising is courtesy of TikTok’s Chinese parent company, Bytedance, which has had an infusion of billions in outside capital recently. The company is valued at $78 billion, as of October.


Thus, it can be said that the popularity of TikTok is because of the feature it has and hence if Mobile Application Development firm wants to develop a similar kind of app, then they should concentrate on fulfilling the demands of the customers with the best features. So, an amount of $25000 to $35000 could be said to be enough at the initial stage for developing this app. 

Last updated:8/30/2019 3:02:33 AM
Harikrishna Kundariya

Harikrishna Kundariya

Harikrishna Kundariya, a marketer, developer, IoT, ChatBot & Blockchain savvy, designer, co-founder, Director of eSparkBiz Technologies, a Mobile Application Development Company. His 8 plus years of experience enables him to provide digital solutions to new start-ups based on IoT and ChatBot. A Node JS Development Company, eSparkbiz has reached greater heights with his immense contribution.


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