How to Create an App Like TikTok: Features, Estimation, Tech Stack

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09 Sep 2019
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8 min
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Katherine O.
Copywriter
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Stanislav K.
Business analyst

TikTok video-sharing app has become a new trend among entertainment applications these days. This application has millions of users from all over the world. And they spend hours on TikTok watching videos and creating own content.

The unexpected but stunning success of TikTok led to many requests like how to make an app like TikTok and cost to create a TikTok-like app.

In our article, you can find a ready-made estimation, basic and additional features as well as a tech stack for developing an app similar to TikTok.

How Does TikTok Work?

TikTok is a music and video platform that allows users to create and share videos online. TikTok app enables users to upload videos and film content. After that, the videos can be edited as the application provides many editing effects, filters, and more.

Additionally, TikTok is a perfect platform for showing talents and sharing knowledge with a broad audience. It can convert a video into a live wallpaper. Users can save these videos in the settings.The platform has become popular in a short time. There are some interesting statistics for you to study.

Quick Stats

  • TikTok has approximately 500 million monthly active users from all over the world.
  • Ranked as the most downloaded application in the App Store for the first quarter of 2019 with more than 33 million installs .
  • According to the latest research, TikTok is more prevalent among men than women. There are 56% of male users and 44% female .
  • Users tend to spend an average of 52 minutes daily on the TikTok.
  • Apptrace claims that TikTok is available in 155 countries .

How to Make an App Like TikTok: Features to Add

Creating a TikTok-like application, it’s necessary to consider essential features beforehand. In most cases, it’s better to start with building an MVP (application with some basic functions) and after that, integrate new and advanced functionality.

Looking to develop an MVP?
Our team is ready to help! We can consult you about any tech issues!

It may be time-consuming and expensive to develop a TikTok clone. However, you can build an app with some basic features and launch it. As a result, you can get feedback from your target audience and decide what features to develop further.

We’ve studied TikTok features and divided them into two types — basic and advanced. You can find the information below.

TikTok Basic Features

Log in & sign up

Users need to sign up to post the content. It’s better to bring several options for sign up, e.g. email, social network, and phone number.

Edit profile

Offer the users to customize their profiles, e.g. the ability to change the profile pictures or username, add a bio, and more. Customized options are always a good idea.

Upload videos

How to make an app like TikTok successful? It’s necessary to provide users with an easy and fast way to post videos. As a result, it’s better to consider sharing options beforehand.

Filters & effects

TikTok offers adding many filters and effects to the video. So, it’s necessary to add such a feature to your future app. As a result, you can attract more users offering them unique filters.

Video editing

Users should have capabilities to edit the video on the app. There can be some basic options like flipping, speeding up the video, and more. However, it’s also possible to add an opportunity to turn on ‘beauty’ mode. It makes the users’ skin more smooth.

Hearts & commenting

Similar to Instagram, TikTok provides an opportunity to like the video and comment it on . The users can also look through the liked posts on the specific tab.

Sharing

To gain more users, you can offer sharing options. It stands for the ability to share their publications on other social media like Facebook, Twitter, etc. Additionally, TikTok offers to connect the user’s profile to other social networks.

Notifications

To keep users posted, it’s necessary to add a push notification function. You need to inform the users about comments on their videos, likes, or any other updates. Usually, notifications are implemented via Google Cloud Messaging (Android) or Apple Push Notification Service (iOS).

Admin panel

Admin panel offers multiple functions like user management (e.g. edit, delete, or block users). Additionally, it can assist in counting posts of a particular user, providing data about new users, and more.

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All the estimations provided below are based on the average rate in our region (Eastern Europe, Ukraine) — $50 per hour.

TikTok basic features and their cost
Feature iOS development Android development Back-end development Approximate cost
Log in & sign in 25 hours 25 hours 21 hours $3,550
Edit profile 21 hours 21 hours 12 hours $2,700
Upload video 9 hours 9 hours 5 hours $1,150
Filters & effects 82 hours 82 hours 4 hours $8,400
Video editing 47 hours 47 hours 4 hours $4,900
Likes & comments 33 hours 33 hours 18 hours $4,200
Sharing 3 hours 3 hours - $300
Notifications 12 hours 12 hours 12 hours $1,800
Admin panel - - 39 hours $1,950

Advanced Features for TikTok-Like App

It’s enough to have only basic features for launching an app. However, the more users you gain, the more advanced and unique functions your application should have. There are some TikTok advanced features below that you can implement if you want to create an app like TikTok.

Video preview before the registration

TikTok allows looking through some popular videos before signing up. As a result, new users can look through the content. However, to comment or like, it’s necessary to sign up.

Location-based content

One more advanced feature that you can consider while making an app like TikTok. This feature allows locating the device. According to this data, the app offers content posted by other users with the same location. Additionally, users can add their current whereabouts to the video.

Real-time analytics

This function provides an opportunity to see the live viewers and broadcasters on the graph. Additionally, it offers data about the number of comments and hearts.

Live video streaming

TikTok doesn’t have this feature these days. However, an opportunity to start a live video is in demand among social video applications.

AR filters

Some augmented reality filters can change the hair or eye color, add objects over the head (e.g. dog’s ears, flowers), and more. This technology becomes more and more popular these days. So, it’s a good idea to integrate this technology into your application. By the way, we’ve developed an amazing AR library. If you are curious, you can check our GitHub profile to study our ARFaceDetection .

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Consider that we’ve estimated only the filters integration. So, you need to provide us with all the required filters. We provide the price for implementing only ten filters. TikTok has more than 100.

TikTik advanced features and their cost
Feature iOS development Android development Back-end development Approximate cost
Video preview before the registration 7 hours 7 hours - $700
Location-based content 12 hours 12 hours 10 hours $1,700
Real-time analytics 6 hours 6 hours 4 hours $800
Live video streaming 56 hours 56 hours 25 hours $6,850
AR filters 74 hours 74 hours - $7,400

Wrapping up, there are a lot of exciting features that you can add while making an app like TikTok. In most cases, it’s better to start with creating an MVP gradually adding some complex features.

How to Create an App Like TikTok

To make an app like TikTok, you need to hire a development team and consider the tech stack of your future application.

Team:

  • Business Analyst
  • Project Manager
  • UI/UX designer
  • Android developer
  • iOS developer
  • Back-end developers
  • QA engineer
?

How much does it cost to make an app in 2019 ? We’ve revealed various hourly rates and what affects the final price.

Tech stack:

  • Kotlin for Android
  • Swift for iOS
  • Back-end development: Node.js
  • Database: Cassandra or MongoDB or SQL
  • Cloud: AWS or Azure
  • Notifications: Google Cloud Messaging for Android and Apple Push Notification Service for iOS
  • Real-time analytics: Azure stream analytics
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The technology stack is approximate and may differ depending on your goals, project requirements, features, and more.

Factors That Affect the Final Price

Creating an app like TikTok, you need to consider several factors that can completely change the price. The most essential of them are platform, design, application features, and a team of mobile developers. Let’s discuss them more precisely.

Platform

Nowadays, there are two popular platforms — iOS and Android. So which platform to choose? The answer — you need applications for both platforms if you want to make an app like TikTok.

However, if you have a lack of budget, you can choose one platform depending on your target audience and their preferences. For instance, Instagram was first launched on iOS. The Android version was released a year and a half later.

Additionally, it’s curious that iOS development tends to require 20% or even 30% less time in comparison to Android. It happens because more devices run on Android. As a result, it’s necessary to provide support for various screen resolutions and OS versions.

Design

The design of the applications is always a struggle since it can require a decent amount of money and time.

Users are quite demanding these days. User-friendly and intuitive UI/UX design can assist in driving new users and gaining their trust and loyalty.

Cost to design an app like TikTok
Design iOS app Android app
Approximate time 102 hours 102 hours
Approximate cost $5,100 $5,100

Features

To start making an app like TikTok, you need to prepare a list of required features beforehand.

The number of features and their complexity are the main components of the application development cost. To build an advanced feature for a TikTok-like app, the developers require more time.

Development Team

How to make a TikTok app? There are two main options — cooperate with an outsourcing company or hire in-house developers . Each option has advantages and disadvantages.

In-house development tends to be more expensive since there are such expenses as hardware and software purchases, taxes, rent, and more. However, the communication process is much more comfortable.

On the other hand, outsourcing development has become popular these days. Vendors offer various hourly rates depending on their location, so you can choose the company that fits your budget. For instance, developers from Eastern Europe are highly-qualified but have low hourly rates.

Mobile developers hourly rate by region
Region Average iOS developer rate Average Android developer rate
North America $110 - $250 $150 - $170
Western Europe $37 - $175 $70
Eastern Europe $23 - 80 $35 - $50
Australia $35 - 150 $110

The Final Cost to Make an App Like TikTok

Considering all the factors mentioned in the article, the cost to create an app like TikTok may range between $46,350 and $92,700 for one or two platforms respectively.

Let’s look through the details.

TikTok development time and cost
Feature Time (back-end included) Cost
Basic features 347 hours $17,350
Advanced features 194 hours $9,700
Frameworks and libraries integration for back-end 30 hours $1,500
Frameworks and libraries integration for Android / iOS 49 hours / 47 hours $2,450 / $2,350
UI/UX design for Android / iOS 102 / 102 hours $5,100 / $5,100
Quality assurance (for one app) 135 hours $6,750
Project management (for one app) 70 hours $3,500
Total for one app (Android or iOS) ~927 hours ~$46,350
Total for two app (Android and iOS) ~1854 hours ~$92,700

Cleveroad Expertise: Ayoo Dance

Our team has already developed an application similar to TikTok and we would like to briefly talk about this experience.

We’d love to introduce our social network that connects dancers from all over the world — Ayoo Dance .

Platform: iOS

Ayoo Dance gives dance lovers a place where they can show their skills,abilities, and communicate.

Our development team has created a mobile solution and a web-based admin panel according to the project requirements.

The main challenge of Ayoo Dance development was implementing the Duet function. Duet stands for playing two videos together. As a result, users can create a dances comparison that is fully synchronized.

One more exciting feature is the opportunity to vote for a dancer. So, the users watch two videos together and vote for the best show.

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If you need any assistance in making an app like TikTok, don’t hesitate to contact us . We provide full-cycle tech consultations and project estimation at no charge!

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