We have Soundcloud for music, Instagram for photo editing and sharing, and Periscope for streaming. It may seem that every possible solution has already been created. However, there is always room for innovation. An excellent example is the TikTok app that has risen to be a wildly popular social video app amassing over a billion downloads on Android and iOS. But how can you turn a simple business idea into a new app like TikTok? We’ll cover this question in the following article and share some curated tips on how to build and grow a social media video app.
Without further ado, let’s get started.
What Is TikTok?
TikTok is a new beacon of light that grows faster than any other platform in the world. Essentially, TikTok is based on nothing other than entertainment that accounts for its popularity. TikTok is a short-form video platform that enables users to stream live broadcasts, make short videos to music and filters, add favorite tracks, and share their content on social networks.
The app is designed exclusively for mobile use with a heavy sprinkling of viral challenges, popular show dances, and pranks. And if you’ve never heard this name before, you might already be out of the loop. Here are some facts that sum up everything you should know about TikTok:
- Currently, TikTok is one of the most famous valuable startups. Boasting over 800 million avid users worldwide, it already surpassed 1.5 billion app downloads.
- An average user spends more than 50 minutes on Tik Tok daily.
- The app is popular among Gen Z, and more than 40% of TikTok users are aged 16–24.
- TikTok users spend up to $3.5 million per month for in-app purchases. You might have guessed that the primary revenue stream is in-app purchases.
Stats speak louder than words, doesn’t it?
Now, let’s get to grips with TikTok features and discover the secret behind its popularity.
TikTok Features Overview
The application where Gen Z vies for 15 seconds of fame is not as intricate as it might seem. TikTok allows users to interact with each other by following, liking, and sharing video content. There are also some useful add-ons, such as:
- Video editing. Besides basic cutting and transitions, TikTok has a dazzling toolset of AR effects for changing the color of the eyes, hair, and even makeup.
- Live streaming. This premium TikTok feature allows users to stream live and get online gifts from their followers bought with TikTok Coins.
- Social sharing. TikTok users can share all their content made with TikTok on other social media profiles.
- Soundtracks. Users can add a sound effect, voice-over, or choose a song from the built-in TikTok library.
- QR code scanner. To make subscriptions faster and easier, TikTok fans can follow a person using a unique QR code.
- Duet Option. All users can create a duet with a celebrity, a friend, or a person you love. In the early days, it all came down to singing, but today users can use this feature to react to people, craft funny dialogues with friends, or show two different sides of the same notion.
- Geolocation. Geolocation helps TikTok find suggestions on popular bloggers broadcasting live, nearby, in an instant.
Now that we’ve overviewed the most important features, let’s see how to make a music video app and make it commercially successful.
Developing An App Like TikTok: 5 Simple Steps
Below we have curated the tips on how to go from a business idea to a popular app like TikTok.
Do consumer research
First and foremost, you should find out more valuable information about your target audience. To do that, you should follow these steps:
- Building a demographic profile. This includes the average age of your users, location, most used devices, etc.
- Defining behavioral tendencies. Such tendencies refer to lessening the user’s need to download something, shrinking patience for slow load times, leniency for weak security, and so on.
To fine-tune the product to your users’ needs, you can create a buyer persona, which is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and accurate data.
Pick your model for monetization
Once you have an idea of your target audience, you can choose the most suitable monetization model for your app:
Fundraising a great option to start with that presupposes gathering voluntary donations from both individuals and companies. This monetization model is one of TikTok’s picks as well. Thus, the app has raised $3 billion in fundraising.
TikTok allows its users to buy additional content or services within the app. In practice, this comes down to virtual currency that is bought with a credit card or any other payment method. On TikTok, users can exchange virtual coins for gifts.
This monetization method can be divided into the following in-app types:
- Cost Per Click billed when the user clicks the ads within the app.
- Cost Per Thousand is a monetization model when the cost is set for 1000 impressions of the advertising block.
- Cost Per Action is when you get paid for the predefined actions, such as sales, applications, calls, registration, etc.
Now that we have broken down the monetization models for you, let’s dive into the app development steps.
Contact an app development team
With the customer data and business model on your desk, you can reach out to the development team and start with the inception or discovery phase.
The main purpose of the Discovery phase is to provide a technical proposal to the client. For this purpose, it is necessary to find out the customer’s needs as much as possible and create a separate document with the product requirements.
At this stage, the software development company usually carries out the following activities, which may differ depending on the project:
- Outlines the scope, primary features of the application, and business objectives;
- Conducts a competitive analysis;
- Defines main application features and user roles;
- Charts out a future app idea.
Build a Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
As the app type in question requires many resources, you need to validate your idea without having to build a full-fledged product. Therefore, launching an MVP first allows you to collect user feedback and include it into further iterations.
Below you will find a feature list needed for a social video app MVP and hourly estimation.
|MVP feature||Rundown||Hourly estimation|
|Basic User Interface
|The design includes a simple user interface of primary screen elements.||60+ hours
|User login||User can log into the app via:
||60 + hours
|User account||The app user can change:
|Geolocation||Users can include a video or photo location.||120+ hours|
|Users can post:
Users can use editing tools:
|320 hours on average
|Using search via:
|Users can share their videos and photos on main social media platforms like:
|Total||800 + hours|
Consider that programmer rates vary in different regions.
- Coders from the US, England, and Australia price their work at $150 per hour.
- In Eastern Europe, devs charge from $35 per hour.
- Indian programmer’s hourly rate is $15-20 for a senior-level specialist.
The Bottom Line
Since social networking and social video apps have come into vogue, you can leverage the general concept and create a profitable application. However, developing such apps can turn into an uphill struggle unless you reason out all steps and features. Therefore, finding a reputable software development company is an essential factor of your success.