How to Create an App Like TikTok?

Ever thought about how Tik Tok became so popular with millions and billions of users around the globe? It’s stunning how many hours people, especially the youth, spend watching videos on this social media platform. The outcome? The Chinese owner released an internal memo saying its total revenue jumped by 111% to $34.3bn (£24.7bn) for 2020.

Now the big question! How to make an app like TikTok? Is that possible? In this article, we will discuss many aspects that answer the question ‘’how to make an app like TikTok’. We will talk about the algorithms behind this social media app, technical stack, cost, and much more.

You may want to consider this article on how to make an app like Instagram. However, in this article, we will talk only about TikTok.

Let’s get started!

What is the Point of TikTok?

Do you want an honest and sincere answer to this question? Well, the younger generation is bored. TikTok keeps them busy while allowing a unique way to express themselves.

And you know what? They are also lazy dudes and TikTok is very convenient to use. Once you are there, you are hooked right away!

There is always something new on TikTok. A new dance, a new joke.

This app is a place where teens are left alone and their parents don’t know what they are up to. It is a place for self-expression. You don’t need to be a professional in order to make TikTok videos. TikTok is rich in features that make creating, editing, and posting videos extremely easy.

It’s easy, fun and it’s extremely entertaining!

TikTok Algorithms

These algorithms are based on three basic functions:

1. User interaction

2. Video information

3. Device and account setting

User interaction

Video information

Device and accounting setting

How to Make an App Like TikTok?

Research the idea

No matter how great your idea is, it needs thorough research. For example, you may need to know your target audience — their age, place of living, devices used, preferences. This takes time and can be done both through the internet and social polls. Once you are clear about what you really want, you can turn to find a development team.

Find a development team

You need an experienced team that can help you build the app. Your team is the key to success or failure.

Outsourcing is a better idea than doing it in-house as it is more cost-effective. You can find a lot of outsourcing companies in Eastern Europe that pride themselves both on high quality and reasonable prices.

You can discuss the concept of your app, features, and user roles, decide on the technology stack and finally have the initial estimate at this stage.

MVP development

Any app needs to be tested in the market. Minimum Viable Product is the process of developing the prototype and releasing it in the market to collect feedback from early adopters. These are the basic functionalities that you may use while developing MVP.

Now that you are equipped with basic steps to build an MVP for your TikTok-like app, it’s time to develop a prototype and release it in the market.

Once you do that, collect feedback and build your final product on these suggestions. This is an important step for the success or failure of your app since you will get hands-on advice on what works well and what doesn’t.

Build the final product and release it in the market

Once you build your final product based on the feedback of early adopters, you can release it in the marketplace. At this point, it is important that your users know about your app. You can promote it on social platforms or your website. Alternatively, you can use paid ads. Make sure to clearly explain what the app is about and how people can use it.

Tech Stack to Make an App Like TikTok

It depends on whether you want to build a hybrid application or an application for iOS and Android only. For hybrid applications, the best choice is Flutter. Consider Xamarin, and React Native as well. For Android, consider Kotlin and Java. If you build an app for iOS, you can use Swift or C.

Use Google cloud storage or Amazon S3.

Consider MongoDB, SQL, and MySQL for databases.

For notifications, the best choices are Google Cloud Messaging for Android and Apple Push Notification Service for iOS.

Use Google Maps API and MapKit/Core Location frameworks (for iOS) for the geolocation.

Cost to Make an App Like TikTok

Let’s have a look at the rate per hour in different regions to have a rough understanding of how much an app may cost.

As you can see, India and Eastern Europe offer the lowest rate. Don’t be misled by these rates. There are many qualified development companies in Eastern Europe like Armenia or India. You just need to check their portfolio and see the type of success cases they have.

Now let’s have a look at the personnel needed.

You will need:

  • Project manager
  • UI/UX designer
  • Android developer
  • iOS developer
  • Backend developer
  • Database specialists
  • QA specialists.

And here is the number of hours needed to develop an MVP for an app like TikTok.

Basic Features Estimate in hours (min-max)

Personal profile — 24–40

Likes/Comments — 16 -32

Video recording/uploading — 40–80

Video editing — 80–120

Social sharing — 8–20

Push notifications — 16–24

Music Library — 16–24

Live streaming — 24–42

Real-Time Analytics — 16–32

Geolocation — 16–32

Hashtags — 30–60

Settings — 28–40

To give you a rough idea, consider this. An application that may cost you $40,000 to build in the US, will cost around $9000 if developed in Ukraine or Armenia.

Conclusion

Ideas rule. Ideas that touch the heart of the audience rule the market. Try to bring your own say when you build an app. And don’t forget that your development team is your right hand. Your app’s design and interface are what the target audience looks at first.

Good luck with your effort to build a TikTok-like app!

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