How to Make an App Like TikTok – Guide on Creating Video-Based Social Media Apps
How to Make an App Like TikTok – Guide on Creating Video-Based Social Media Apps

TikTok is one of a kind application that brought innovation to the world of social media. It was a masterpiece that allowed businesses to grow while letting individuals feel like Rockstar. TikTok became the most popular social media platform until it was banned in multiple countries.

However, many businesses took the advantage of this opportunity and launched applications that worked like TikTok. But the question is, even if they developed the application at the right opportunity, did they grow as expected? The answer is, not exactly. Many companies failed due to poor marketing and some failed because of the poor app development process.

Anyway, I have designed this absolute guide on how to create video-based social media apps that will eventually help you in developing a faultless application following tons of businesses to your doors.

What do I mean by Apps like TikTok?

A Chinese company named Byte Dance launched ‘’ in the app market in 2016 which was later renamed ‘TikTok’. The app’s main purpose was to create and share a 15-second video on its platform. Being a video and music platform, the app was popular for its built-in recording and editing capabilities. The app had numerous features to edit a video through filters, effects, and more. It was such a success that it hit 2 Billion downloads in 2020 in more than 150 markets and was available in more than 75 languages.

If I talk about market analysis, TikTok has given competition to the biggest social media apps like Twitter, YouTube, and Snapchat.

Most-Notable Features of Apps like TikTok

The first approach in building video-based social media apps is to understand the features they should incorporate. Depending on your business’s preferences, you might modify the features or build new functionalities, but here are some crucial features that you should consider.

1. Video Uploading:

Video uploading is the basic and most-desired feature of creating a successful app. Your audience should be able to conveniently upload any video that they want. The main reason why people prefer using such applications is that they don’t have to stick to a video for a long time, so you need to feature short and fixed time frame videos with additional options like rotate, crop, share video, change playback speed, etc.

2. Video-editing Tools:

Give your users the ability to edit a video. Animation, stickers, video masks, slow-motion effects, filters & effects are a name few. Try to cover most of the basic features and some of the advanced video editing features so that your users don’t have to visit any extra applications for this purpose.

3. Live Streaming:

Social media influencers love performing live-streaming videos. Allow your creators to stream videos on your platform with an extra bit of technology. You may include options like who can see the live video, or make it a premium feature that can be accessed by using in-app coins just like TikTok.

4. Social Sharing:

Any social media apps is incomplete without a sharing button. Let your users share videos with other platforms as well. You may also let your users share videos only on your platform. It’s up to you.

5. Sounds:

Incorporate a ton of sounds into your application so that the video creators don’t have to look for your competitors. The sound may include music, dialogues, or the record voice feature. That’s how the audience will lip-sync or customize the video on your app.

6. Duet Option:

Some creators like to make duets with other creators. Consequently, you need to feature it and leave it up to users how they use it, either by making reaction videos, competitions, or self-same videos.

7. Geolocation:

Using geolocation you can authorize your users to see videos of nearby app creators who are active at the same time.

8. Personalization:

For a seamless personalized experience, you can monitor the user’s activities and analyze what interests them. At the least, you can ask the users to select categories of different genres that they like.

9. Admin Panel:

Apart from every other feature, you have to create an admin panel where the users can monitor their activities. It may include followers, following, spending time, likes, shares, etc.

Steps to Consider While Creating an App like TikTok

Now, that you understand what TikTok is and are basic features to create a video-based social media apps, it’s time that you give a kickstart to your idea or business. Moreover, if you are a start-up then creating such an application is one of the best app ideas that you can consider. One good point of TikTok-like app development is that TikTok is already banned in many countries and you have the opportunity to fill in the gap.

Though the app development process can be a bit complex to create such applications as you have to focus on both the quality and quantity of features, however, in-depth planning and strategy can help you design a successful and user-friendly entertaining app. Streamline your planning with the following master plan:

1. Know Your Audience:

The first step in order to build an app is to understand who is your targeted audience. Detailed research about your audience will help you design a personalized app. It helps you realize what their expectations are in terms of using a video-based social media apps. You can also perform data analytics on the users’ data by gathering it from various channels.
Moreover, a detailed analysis report will give you clarity in choosing the features of the application. When you give your users a course of action to accomplish the intended actions, you are likely to build a successful application. Unveil the hidden desires of your customers and address the features that are left out by other applications.

2. Conduct Market Research:

Once you are done with the audience research, you need to focus on the market. Cover both the demographic profile and behavioral trends to give it your best shot. It is crucial to know what your competitors are doing, how they are handling the strategy-making process, and what are they responding to customer inputs/feedback. Also, use their apps for a few days to realize what’s missing and what’s a bonus feature in the app. The unbiased market research provides clearer insights into the market dynamics, dominant competitors, customers’ interaction with brands, and the latest market trends.

3. Select a Suitable Monetization Model:

Apps like TikTok need a good budget. Along with audience and market research, you need to think of the future business model. A detailed discussion with your team on different monetization models can help you better understand which one to select.

a. Fundraising:

Fundraising is one of the popular monetization models which is particularly a good option at the initial stage. It includes the collection of money as donations from businesses or individuals. If you are lucky enough and your app idea is amazing, some high-class investors can connect with you easily.

b. In-App Purchases:

In-app purchase is a term where users buy some app coins with real money and use those coins to support their followers or for other purposes. Just like TikTok, you can also include in-app purchases and encourage users to use premium features with app coins.

c. Advertising:

Advertising is another brilliant monetization option. You can consider a suitable advertising method for your business. Out of Cost-per-click, Cost-per-mile, and cost-per-action, you can select any strategy that interests you.

4. Hire an App Development Team:

Hiring a top-notch mobile app development team is the key to creating a successful business. You might not give it enough importance in the first place, but when you look at it closely, you will get to know why some ideas get success overnight and some ideas are left behind. Even when start-ups or businesses do great work in researching the market and audiences, they still lack in achieving the desired success. The reason is, selecting a not-so-good app development team. When you hire mobile app developers, always do their organization’s and their work’s research. Read this guide on hiring a trustworthy and value-oriented mobile app development company. A normal session with the experts of a company can help you analyze if their organization or mobile app developers are a good fit for your idea or not. Check out their portfolio and realize how sufficiently they have done their work. Understand the work strategies that they are telling you and see if it’s genuine or not.

5. Consider Customer Feedback:

Recording customer feedback, queries, or suggestions is the best way to modify your app in the best way possible. When your users will use your application, it’s possible that they may disappoint at some point and will notify you how you can make the app features better. It’s up to you how you offer them enhanced features and better usability. At every app update, you are likely to receive better feedback from the customers as they will be getting what they wanted. Also, do not go for everything that the customer demands, just sit with your app development team & strategic team to discuss what further changes can be made for good.

How Much Does It Cost to build a Video-Based Application?

App development costs may vary on several factors. It includes country, development requirements, mobile app developer charges, and complexity of the app. You can also start with a simple app and gradually upgrade it to an advanced app with modern features or you can also start with a full-fledged application.

On average, a video-based application can cost around $25000 – $60000. This is just a rough estimation, you may consult with the mobile app development company for price estimation. Depending on the application functionalities, platform (iOS or Android), total hours of work, total teams required, etc. the experts will let you know the actual product cost.

What Team Structure is Required to Create an App like TikTok?

If you are new to the app development industry and don’t have any in-house experts, then either you can hire an IT outsourcing company or you can hire freelance professionals with different expertise. The difference between both is that an IT outsourcing company provides you with all the resources in one place and you don’t have to hustle looking for expertise in different domains while freelance professionals are individuals who have only a specific set of expertise and you may have to look for another professional for another type of work.

Eventually, you will require the following team structure to follow video-based app development.

a. Business Analyst

b. Project Manager

c. iOS App Developers

d. Android App Developers

e. Back-end developers

f. UX/UI Designers

g. Quality Analysis Testers

h. Digital Promotion Professionals

Alternatives of TikTok (That can Inspire Your Ideas)

1. Dubsmash


2. Byte


3. Instagram Reels

4. Triller


5. Mitron


6. Kwai


7. YouTube Shorts


Wrapping Up:

All right, so that now you have a basic understanding of video-based app development, you can design a blueprint for your success. But if at any point, you feel you’re stuck or you don’t find a way, you have us. We are a reputed mobile app development company and have 8+ years of experience in building applications for different business domains. You just have to say ‘hello’ to our team and we will precisely look into your concern. Also, do not forget to comment with your thoughts on this blog.

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