How to Develop a Social Video-Sharing App Like TikTok

We have Facebook to connect with friends, Instagram for posting photos, WhatsApp for chatting, LinkedIn for making career connections, and now we have TikTok – the viral video-sharing social networking mobile app!

How to Develop a Social Video-Sharing App Like TikTok

TikTok has become a go-to destination for people looking to make and discover some awesome videos. The video sharing and social networking app lets users take their videos to another level with filters, music, stickers, effects, and more. Being a leading mobile app development company, Source Soft Solutions knows how to build a social media app like TikTok. If you are looking to develop a TikTok clone app, this comprehensive guide will help you decide how you should approach this project for your business.

Table of contents

  • What is TikTok?
  • What makes it different?
  • Statistics for TikTok 2020
  • TikTok Advertising Related Statistics
  • Main Features of TikTok
  • Functionalities Required to Create TikTok Clone
  • TikTok Technology Stack
  • How to Develop a Social Video-Sharing App like TikTok
  • How Much Does It Cost to Develop a TikTok Like App
  • Source Soft Expertise

What is TikTok?

TikTok, also known as Douyin in China, is developed by ByteDance, a Beijing-based company founded in 2012. The video-sharing app was launched in 2016 for both Android and iOS devices. The app soon became a sensation around the world as creators started posting funny, creative, comedy, and short lip-syncing videos. You can make 3-15 seconds long videos on TikTok. The app is famous in Asia, the United States, and other parts of the world. Surprisingly,, a startup based in Shanghai, which was a rival social media video platform, was acquired by TikTok at a cost of $1billion in November 2017.


Zhang Yiming is the billionaire behind TikTok. The idea of creating this platform came to his mind when he noticed people use different apps to watch videos, post videos, and entertain themselves through social networking. He came up with the idea of a mobile app that combines all these features together and TikTok was born!

What Makes Tiktok Different From Other Social Media Apps?

It is the first social media app designed with the power of artificial intelligence and machine learning. TikTok leverages AI technology in two ways:

What Makes Tiktok Different From Other Social Media Apps

  • For Reading and Absorbing Consumer Preferences – TikTok captures and analyzes user watching behavior, such as likes, comments, and the duration for watching videos, to build a dataset and provide custom recommendations.
  • For Video Making and Editing – TikTok takes advantage of AI algorithms to enable video creators to create and post videos with ease. It suggests enhancements in music for lip-syncing, hashtags, and filters. AI algorithms also help TikTok to interpret positive and negative signals from each video.

Statistics for TikTok 2020

800 Million Monthly Active Users

TikTok has about 800 million monthly active users from around the world. It has 60 million monthly active users in the US alone.

World's most used Social Platforms

1.5 Billion Downloads

Sensor Tower has reported that TikTok has been downloaded over 1.5 billion times worldwide. 123 million people downloaded it from the U.S., 466 million from India, and 173 million from China.

Top Social Media Apps

TikTok First-Time Downloads, from Q2 2016 to Q4 2019

TikTok Quarterly First-Time Installs

Avg. 52 Min. Time Spent on TikTok

TikTok is popular because its users love the app. A TikTok user spends 52 minutes on average on the app daily and open it 8 times in a day.

TikTok vs. Lasso

Facebook’s “Lasso” (it’s a TikTok clone app) has 250,000 downloads in the U.S. in November 2019. TikTok was above it with 41.3 million downloads in Nov’19.

TikTok Q4 Revenue

According to TechCrunch, TikTok’s Q4 2019 revenue increased by over 300% from the same period in 2018. It’s growing pretty fast. In 2019, TikTok’s global revenue reached $39 billion. As a social media app development company, we can tell you the revenue stats hint that developing an app like TikTok would help you generate millions of dollars for your business.

Popular Among Youngsters

TikTok is quite popular among youngsters, aged 16-24 years. These users are trendsetters or you can say Gen-Z. There are 74 million people in the U.S. alone who belong to the “Gen-Z.” TikTok has 60% female users and 40% male users. 80% of users are between the ages of 16-34 years. The number of adult users on TikTok is growing fast. In the US, the number of adult users has increased by 6 times in less than 19 months.

TikTok around the World

Available in 155 Countries

The TikTok app is now available in more than 155 countries and more than 75 languages.

Downloads of TikTok App

1 Million Videos Viewed Every Day 

TikTok is a fast-growing social media app and the numbers reveal exactly that. On TikTok, there are more than 1 million videos viewed every day.

TikTok Advertising Related Statistics

  • TikTok has TikTok Creator Marketplace where you can find thousands of profiles of TikTok creators with millions of followers. You can choose the influencer with the best-fit target audience for your business advertisement.
  • On TikTok, brand takeover ads cost from $20,000 – $200,000.
  • TikTok influencers, who have more than 2.5 million followers, charge around $600-1000 per post.
  • TikTok requires $100,000 – $200,000 in ad spend for promoting a hashtag challenge for any brand.
  • With TikTok ads, you can send users to your website, app, or any landing page you want.

Main Features of TikTok 

Source Soft Solutions is here to help you develop an app like TikTok. Before we head to the technicalities of this social media video-sharing app, we need to understand the main features of TikTok.

TikTok User Panel

TikTok Admin Panel

Functionalities Required To Develop TikTok-Like Mobile App

  • User Interface: To allow users to interact with the app in a fun and easy way.
  • Social Sharing Feature: This feature lets users share their video/image content with others, use the music library to create their videos, and follow/like/comment on videos/images.
  • Music Library: There are several music and movie dialogues available in the music library for the users to create videos using them.
  • Special Effects: This feature allows users to select filters, stickers, and other fun elements to create magical clips.
  • Video Streaming: TikTok uses a broadcasting server to stream videos on users’ device until the time they watch them. Cloud servers are necessary for integrating the video streaming feature in an app. Cloud capability helps apps to scale when they want.
  • Geolocation: This lets users find broadcasts according to their specific country or location. Integrating geolocation in an app allows the app to live stream content based on the users’ location.
  • Push Notification: Sending notifications to users is essential to let them know what’s happening in the TikTok world or who commented, liked, shared their videos, or anything new.
  • Real-Time Analytics: This feature is crucial for admin user as you get to know the live viewers and video creators in a graphical manner, plus you can see/remove the flagged videos.

TikTok Technology Stack

TikTok is the most advanced and innovative social media in the market. It makes use of AI, ML, video/audio transcoding and many other tools to provide this level of innovation to its users.

Let’s take a look at the technology stack for the development of TikTok like mobile app:

TikTok Technology Stack

  • Swift and Xcode for iOS app development
  • Kotlin for Android app development
  • Amazon Web Services and Azure for cloud services
  • js for the development of the backend system
  • Use Postgre SQL, MongoDB, Datastax or Cassandra for database management
  • Azure Stream Analytics and Google Analytics for data analytics
  • Notifications feature supported by Google Cloud Messaging, Twilio or Apple Push Notifications
  • HTTPS and RTMP for media server configuration
  • FFMPEG and Amazon Elastic Transcoder for video/audio transcoding
  • For payment integration, you need Paypal & Braintree, e-Wallet, Stripe or other payment merchants
  • Debian needed for Universal Operating System
  • For emails, you can use Mandril

How to Develop a Social Video Sharing App Like TikTok? 

To develop a clone app for TikTok, you need to research the market, decide the tech stack and features, and hire a development team. Creating a TikTok like app would require you to hire designers, developers, QA engineers, business analyst, database expert, and project manager.

How to Get Started with TikTok Clone App Development?

Research the Social Media Market

In this stage, you will do research on social media platforms to get quantitative and/or qualitative data to understand consumer or market trends. By conducting thorough market research, you will get to know, what consumers want from their social media apps, what technologies are in most demand, how and when consumers are using such apps, how competitors are promoting their apps, and much more.

Choose the Platforms and Locations

Developing a clone app like TikTok will be a rewarding venture, but initially, you would require funds. TikTok received a series of funding from top investors because of its innovative features and new ideas. You can develop a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) for selected locations where you think your app will get more users. The two most popular platforms that users use for social media platforms are iOS and Android. So you need to develop a cross-platform app to attract both Android and iOS device users.

Decide the Features & Tech Stack

Initially, develop an MVP with basic functionalities and then roll out the advanced version when you receive good responses from your target audience. We have mentioned above the main features and tech stack required to develop a TikTok-like app. You can discuss it further with our expert developers. They will explain each feature in detail and will tell you the time required to build that feature.

Hire a Design & Development Team

With the TikTok app, we saw a shift in the design principles. It offers endless scrolling, swipes and gestures, and more. TikTok app design is modern, easy-to-use, attractive, and engaging. The design team of TikTok followed these principles while designing the viral app:

  • Visibility: Every editing tool, filter, or other interactions are put on the visible area.
  • Feedback: To make video editing, making, or sharing easy for every type of user, they provided a confirmation icon for every completed action.
  • Consistency: The design is consistent across all TikTok services, be it video editing, video viewing, image sharing, or video making window.
  • Engaging: The app design is user-friendly and intuitive. It helps to bring new users and gain the trust and loyalty of consumers.

Outsourcing your development work to a professional mobile app development company will be a good way to start the development of a clone app like TikTok as it is a budget-friendly option. You will have to search for experienced app developers available at best hourly rates for the development of your social media app. Your app development company will also help you with launching, maintenance, and promotion of your app.

What You Need to Develop an App Like TikTok

  • Business Analyst
  • UI/UX Designer
  • Android Developer
  • iOS Developer
  • Back-end Developer
  • Database Experts
  • QA Experts
  • Project Manager

How Much Does It Cost to Develop a TikTok Like App

TikTok MVP Features and Time Estimation

TikTok MVP Feature

Time Estimation Based on Development Needs

TikTok Development Time

Actual Cost to Develop a TikTok Like App

To develop a mobile app like TikTok for Android and iOS platforms, you will have to take into account many factors like cross-platform, design, features, functionalities, tools, technology, mobile app development company, and the number of hours required to build the apps. When you consider all these aspects, the cost of developing a music streaming and video sharing app like TikTok would cost around $65,000 to $100,000, depending on the features you want to add, country you want to target, the location of the app development company you are hiring, and the hourly cost they charge.

Source Soft Expertise

Developing a TikTok clone app is a time-consuming and expensive task. Design, development, platforms, and features affect the cost of the development. Source Soft Solutions has expertise in developing iOS and Android apps for different industries, including social media and entertainment sector. If you’ve made up your mind to develop a TikTok clone app, don’t waste your time and contact our development team now. We can help you create the best TikTok clone application as per your needs and budget.

Want an accurate estimate for your TikTok like app?

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to build an app like TikTok?

When you consider design, features, functionalities, tools, technology, mobile app development company, and the number of hours required to build the app, it would cost you anywhere around $65,000 to $100,000 to develop a TikTok like music streaming and video sharing app.

How do you make a Tik Tok app?

To make a TikTok app, you need developers, designers, quality engineers, database experts, business analysts, and a project manager. Outsource your app development project to a reliable company that has an experienced team and expertise to develop a TikTok like app.

How long did Tik Tok take to make?

TikTok app development includes UI and UX designing, back-end and front-end development, cloud database set-up, testing, and deployment. It takes around 800-1,000 hours to build and launch a TikTok like app, depending upon the features and platforms you choose.

How does TikTok make money?

TikTok makes money through in-app purchases and advertisements. TikTok offers in-app purchases of coins, starting at 100 for $0.99. TikTok generates $3.5mn every month on in-app purchases. TikTok gets money from advertisers when users interact with their ads.

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