How to Develop a TikTok-Like App: An Ultimate 2024 Guide

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TikTok is one of the leading software solutions for entertainment worldwide. Users spend a lot of time watching and creating videos. TikTok’s overwhelming success generated a lot of requests on how to make an app similar to it and gain success.

This post will explain to you basic and advanced features to develop a TikTok-like app, tech stack to use, and so on.

TikTok Essence and Functioning Principles

TikTok is a video-streaming platform that helps users globally share their talents and knowledge with other people through videos.

These video clips can be edited using various app filters, modern effects and even converted into a live wallpaper. The app has come to fame within a short time, inspiring many entrepreneurs to create their own TikTok-similar solution.

TikTok Working Algorithms

All the data concerning For You and Suggestions fields is disclosed. So let’s look at the details.

The personalized content recommendations in TikTok are generated the following way: the system addresses various criteria, like customer interactions, gadgets or personal account settings, etc.

The other way to customize TikTok content for people is to choose the data types they are interested in before using the application.

If such types haven’t been determined yet, the platform shows the most in-demand video clips. But if the user dislikes the video, they can press on it and tap a “Not interested” option.

TikTok Use Stats

The above-described functionality is user-friendly and beloved by many customers. So, it isn’t surprising that TikTok’s popularity grows day after day. Some stats proving this statement are given below.

  • TikTok has a monthly active customer base of more than 1 billion people almost worldwide.
  • It was downloaded 62 million times at the beginning of 2021.
  • According to Hootsuite, TikTok is the seventh social network solution that is the most popular around the world.
  • Statista mentions that TikTok users mainly spend 5-10 hours a week on the platform.

This is only a little part of statistics proving TikTok’s relevance for users. So, how to build a TikTok-like app and gain such success?

Developing a TikTok-Similar App: Technologies and Functionality to Integrate

Developing a TikTok-similar app might be expensive and time-consuming. That’s why to start with building a minimum viable product (MVP) having the basic functionality. Additional complex features may be added afterward when you check your business concept implemented in MVP and make sure it’s in-demand.

Moreover, an MVP version increases your chances of obtaining investments. Stakeholders will trust you if you have a functional product.

We looked into TikTok’s features and separated them into basic and advanced categories.

Core Features for a TikTok-Similar Solution

Signup & login. To use the TikTok-like solution, customers have to create an account and log in. Offer them opportunities to signup and log in via email or social networks.

Editing profile. Personalized options are always good for users. So, you may allow them to edit their accounts (e.g., changing their account images or usernames, etc.).

Uploading videos. It’s critical to give consumers a quick and straightforward option to upload video clips.

Effects and filters. To attract more customers inspiring them to create videos, integrate various filters and video effects into your TikTok-like app.

Likes & comments. Allow users to evaluate the clips, liking and commenting on their favorite ones. They should also have an opportunity to look through the liked posts.

Sharing the content on other social networks (such as Twitter, Facebook, etc.) will attract more users to your TikTok-like app.

Push notifications are required to keep people informed. Tell users about any likes, comments, or other changes related to their videos.

Admin panel may include a number of features, such as user management (e.g., edit, delete, or block users), collecting data about new customers, counting particular user’s posts, etc.

Basic features of TikTok

Additional Functionality of a TikTok-Like Solution

Basic functionality is enough for the app launch. But the more users you have, the more complex and distinctive features your software product should offer. After a TikTok-like app launch, you can use some of the advanced capabilities listed below.

Video clip preview before signup allows new users to review popular videos. But for commenting or liking the posts, they should first be logged in.

The location-based content feature helps you locate your gadget and shows video material posted by other users from the same place as yours.

Real-time analytics offers you data about the number of users’ likes and comments to videos and helps you monitor the broadcasters and live viewers on the graph.

Live video streaming functionality is no longer available on TikTok. However, such a feature is in high demand among the different social media platforms.

Augmented reality (AR) filters (e.g., modifying the color of your hair or eyes, adding things to your head, like flowers or cat’s ears) are becoming increasingly popular in recent years.

Creating a TikTok-like software, you may provide it with various engaging features. But remember that it’s preferable to start with MVP checking your app idea profitability and then equip the app with additional functionality.

Advanced features of TikTok

Required Team and Tech Stack

Before building a TikTok-similar product, you need to care about hiring a competent team and choosing a technology stack.

The required team should include a Project Manager (PM), Business Analyst, Android and iOS developers (as well as the back-end ones), UI/UX designer, QA engineer, and other specialists.

The native app tech stack below is approximate and may be changed considering your project requirements, product functionality, or business goals.

  • Programming language: Kotlin (for Android), Swift (for iOS), Node.js (for back-end development)
  • Networking: Alamofire (for iOS), OkHttp 3 (for Android)
  • Cloud for back-end development: Azure or AWS
  • Framework for back-end: Express 4
  • Database for back-end: SQL, MongoDB, MySQL

Tools for:

  • Chat: Twilio
  • AR-filters: ARCore, ML Kit
  • Storage: Amazon S3

Aspects Influencing the Final Cost

Various factors (such as app functionality, platform, or design) might significantly impact the app development cost.

UI/UX design

Application design is always a challenge since it may cost a lot of money and time. Moreover, the customers are highly demanding, but a user-friendly and intuitive UI/UX design may attract them and earn their confidence and loyalty.

Software development team

There are two practical approaches to collaborating with IT specialists: engage an in-house team or interact with an outsourcing software provider. In-house developers are simpler to communicate with; however, in such a cooperation, you’ll have to rent an office, pay for software, hardware, or staff salaries, when outsourcing companies provide reasonable hourly rates and a high-quality end product.

Functionality list

The primary components of the application development cost are the number of features and their complexity. Developers will need extra time to create an advanced feature list; that’s why, before you start developing a TikTok-like app, care about preparing a list of required functionality in advance.


If you want to develop TikTok-like software, you’ll need apps for both iOS and Android. In case of a funds lack, select one platform based on your target audience’s preferences.

CCPA & GDPR compliance

The regulations as General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) are established to provide customers with more control over their personal data.

GDPR compliance protects EU users’ data and is necessary if you would like to build a TikTok-similar app. Additionally, there are high fines in the case of noncompliance.

CCPA compliance needs to be considered if you make software for California residents.

Factors that affect the final price

The Approximate MVP Development Time and Price

Considering all of the criteria discussed in this article, the building time of a TikTok-like app might be roughly 1,441 and 2,466 hours for one or two platforms correspondingly.

Let’s calculate approximately the entire cost of creating a TikTok-like solution.

Depending on the app, you should include back-end development hours as well as iOS or Android building time. After that, multiply the time by the staff hourly wages.

You’ll need at least $72,050 for one platform (iOS or Android) and $123,300 for both iOS and Android to build an MVP version of a TikTok-like app.

Wrapping Up

Building a TikTok-like app, you should first develop a flawlessly working MVP to check your idea and prove its profitability. A qualified software development team can help you with it. The experts will provide you with precise project estimations, choose the most appropriate tech stack for your upcoming solution, and assist you in building a modern and flexible software product, which will be cost-efficient on the market.

Author’s bio:

Vitaly Kuprenko is a writer for Cleveroad. It’s a web and mobile app development company with headquarters in Ukraine. He enjoys writing about technology and digital marketing.

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