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

How to create an app like TikTok

6 min read

Short video sharing has become popular after the advent of TikTok. Since then, the user base of TikTok has grown faster than any social media platform at the same point in its journey.

According to eMarketer, there are 813,721,199 TikTok users worldwide, and the numbers are still skyrocketing.

And there’s no better time than now to create an app like TikTok. But isn’t it hard to do it? Do I have to invest tons of my time and money into it?

Read through this article till the end to get answers to all your burning questions. Let’s get started, shall we?

How do TikTok-like apps work?

TikTok is a short video platform that lets users upload, share, and watch short videos. You can create, edit, add sounds, and upload videos natively.

TikTok’s home screen shows two tabs – ‘For You’ and ‘Following.’

The ‘For You’ tab displays an endless feed of videos by other creators on the platform and it is decided by TikTok’s algorithm based on your interactions with the videos, hashtags you follow, geography, and more.

You can also mark a particular video as ‘Not interested’ to tell the algorithm that the video is not relevant to you, and it won’t show you those kinds of videos the next time.

The ‘Following’ tab displays the videos of creators you follow on the platform.

How do TikTok-like apps make money?

TikTok makes money via advertising and in-app purchases. According to the latest report from eMarketer, TikTok’s ad revenues are set to hit $11.64 billion in 2022.

It offers virtual coins for users as in-app purchases, which users can use to buy virtual gifts. You can also include features like premium membership to get additional revenue from your users.

Features to include in your TikTok-like app

The features you offer in your app help you attract users, retain them, and monetize the platform effectively. So picking up the right features and prioritizing them helps you in the long run.

So here are a few features that you can incorporate into your TikTok-like app development process:


User onboarding is a vital part of the customer journey because it sets the stage for everything to come. They get introduced to your app and the benefits it offers. You have to make the onboarding process as smooth as possible for successful product adoption.

You can use social media or phone number sign-up to make the process easier and faster.

Create & upload videos

Video is the essential feature of the app as people are coming to create and upload their creatives to the platform.

You can use the mobile phone camera to let your users record videos and upload them to your platform. You can store the uploaded videos on the local server or cloud storage.

Profile updates

Let your users edit their profile settings like user name, profile picture, bio, and more.

Filters and effects

Filters make the app more fun and engaging. People are using apps like TikTok and Snapchat to use their crazy filters. So adding in-app filters like camera swap and face filters can help attract users to your platform.

Hearts, gifts, and comments

Let your users like, comment, and share their favorite videos with their followers and friends. Also, you can give them the option to send virtual gifts to their favorite creators on the platform.


Users should be notified by push notifications for all the activities such as likes, comments, and shares of their videos, new followers, mentions, messages, and more.


Chat option would help your users connect with their friends on the platform and share videos with them.

Advanced features you can include

Premium memberships

You can add a premium membership option to let users enjoy premium features like custom video uploads and editing options and more in exchange for a subscription.

Live video streaming

Live streams help increase user engagement on the platform. Most social media platforms are moving forward to adopting this, and you can include this in your future TikTok-like app to get more users on board.

Language translator

You can enable a translation option for your users to view the messages they get in their own language to create a sense of belongingness. It will help you retain more users and reach a wider audience.

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Tech stack to make a TikTok-like app

The Tech stack for a TikTok-like app is so crucial as that helps with the performance and scalability of the application. You can use Swift for iOS app development and Java for Android app development.

Step-by-step process to create an app like TikTok

Here’s easy to follow steps to create and launch your app like TikTok in your country;

  1. Assess your target market.
  2. Pick the features for MVP.
  3. Choose the right tech stack.
  4. Find the revenue model.
  5. Develop the MVP.
  6. Publish your app.

1. Assess your target market.

‘Market makes money’ – your target market and how you satisfy their needs will help you earn a fortune. For that, you have to first identify their needs and wants and then work on their pain points to create a solution.

Speak to them directly using focus groups or conduct a market survey to understand them.

2. Pick the features for MVP.

Now, pick a set of features that you would like to include in your Minimum Viable Product (MVP). Choose features that would actually help your audience and add others as you grow.

3. Choose the right tech stack.

In the previous section, we discussed the technologies that you can use to build your TikTok-like app. Now, it’s your time to pick the one that best suits your business objectives.

4. Find the revenue model.

Business without revenue? That won’t be great. So pick a revenue model which you want to incorporate into your platform to earn from your business. It could be advertising, in-app purchases, memberships, or anything.

5. Develop the MVP.

You have everything, now it’s time to create your MVP of a TikTok-like app. Find the best app development company to build your app and test them before launching it into the market.

6. Publish your app.

After development and testing, launch the app into respective stores of Android and iOS. And promote your application to get more downloads and reach more audiences.

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

If you are set to create the app from scratch, then it’d cost you around $50000 for both iOS and Android platforms. But as a startup owner, you might not be able to invest such a lump sum into TikTok-like app development.

Hence you can use a TikTok clone to get started. You can save almost 50 to 60% of the cost of creating from scratch. And when you grow, you can add more features and functionalities to the platform.

How long will it take to build an app like TikTok?

It would take around 100 to 150 hours to build an app like TikTok from scratch. But if you are choosing the TikTok clone app, then you can create and launch your platform within 7 to 14 days.


TikTok has changed the way social media platforms operate. It is a great choice that you decided to create a TikTok-like app for your business. Whatever crazy idea you have for your app, please feel free to share it with us. We will help you in whatever way possible to realize your dream.

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Natheem has prolific experience creating content that resonates with the audience and ranks on search engines. He specializes in SEO marketing. His work has been published in YourStory and other reputable publications.