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

Do you know, what is TikTok? In the month of May 2020, there was a war on the internet between TikTok and Youtube. Everyone was creating videos on TikTok vs Youtube. Before this war, TikTok was literally too much famous worldwide and used by millions of users. In this article, we are going to discuss what is TikTok and How much does it cost.

The social media giants like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Youtube etc. control social media currently. Facebook already bought Whatsapp & Instagram and Facebook still slowly trying to buy everything and becoming as one can say the monopoly of the social media market, entering the marketing and competing with them are close to impossible at this time.

Instagram has the photos and the videos, Whatsapp can be used for text, voice and video calls, and Facebook is to connect with billions of people, then what new you can bring to the market?

It’s all about an amazing idea, and TikTok is one such idea.

And that’s when TikTok entered the game and became the next big thing. TikTok’s fascinating success has shocked the world and has inspired many to make an app like TikTok.

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What is Tiktok?

TikTok is a short video creation and video sharing app that allows users to shoot and share 15-second videos with the help of its amazing filters and effects. Users can dance or give a message using these short videos. It’s all about showing their talent to the world.

A person dies not because he fells in the sea, he dies because of drowning.

This shows how beautiful words can be. If you know swimming, you will not die. In the same case, it seems impossible to beat Facebook, but with the right tools and ideas, it is possible.

What is not possible with dedication and hard work?

The biggest and the most successful marketing is when the users do it. And in the case of TikTok, it is true. The users of TikTok suggest their friends and family use TikTok for fun and entertainment. You can see TikTok content on all the platforms thanks to the sharing feature, and the content creators force their friends and family to use the platform and like their content. This is the reason why TikTok boasts over 800 million monthly active users–up 300 million from January 2019.

Today, it has become a common name for everyone, but there are always exceptions, and therefore, let’s have a quick view of what TikTok is. It all started with – A video creating, streaming, and sharing app. It allowed the users to dance on music or create funny or engaging videos using lip sync. The app had over 100 million users, up until 2018.

In 2018, a Chinese company, Bytedance, took over the app and moved all the users to an app called TikTok. The success of TikTok goes to the feature where the users can not only lip-sync and dance to songs but now they were allowed to create their content. This freedom made TikTok famous and the owner of the company, Zhang Yiming, $16 Billion rich, and the 13th richest person in China.

TikTok has a separate app for the Chinese market known as Duyin, and the new TikTok logo is the combination of both the versions of the app. It can be downloaded from 150 app markets and is available in more than 75 languages. This shows the scope of TikTok.

Key Facts about TikTok

  1. Download count of 1.5 billion and has more than 800 million active users
  2. Users spend, on average, 52 minutes on the app daily. 
  3. More than 1 billion videos are viewed daily. 
  4. The primary revenue is in-app purchases, and it brings $3.5 million per month.
  5. In the first half of 2019, global Tik Tok revenue reached $39 Billion.
  6. TikTok is the product of a Startup called ByteDance, and the success of TikTok has made the Startup, the world’s most valuable startup, with a valuation of over $75 Billion
  7. More than 34% of users post something every day on TikTok. 
  8. Most downloaded app of 2020, so far.
  9. At least 40 TikTok stars have more than 10 million followers, this shows how much TikTok community is growing. 
  10. TikTok ranks sixth among apps for consumer spending worldwide

Quite impressive, right?

TikTok has become so famous that now it is used for different purposes like making a song viral, advertisement, giving tips and techniques, passing the social message, etc. the best form of content is video content as you can see, hear and feel everything and using the same, TikTok is becoming the hub of entertainment and knowledge.

The reach of TikTok is not limited to social media sites only. You will find TikTok on Spotify, too – music streaming app. There are dedicated playlists where you can hear all of the trending songs of TikTok.

It is an app with unlimited possibilities and scope for the talented ones.

How does the TikTok application work?

You can better understand this by downloading the app.

As soon as you download the app, you can start using the app without signing in. You will be welcomed with popular videos that seem like never-ending, no matter how much you scroll. You can sign-in to follow people and see like their videos.

The app is used so much that it has added a remainder after 90 minutes of continuous watching. The app will notify you that you have been watching the videos for 90 minutes to remind you of the time, as the app knows that you will be lost in the app, and you will continue watching its entertaining content for hours and hours.

Here’s the step by step process for creating a video on TikTok

  1. Log in to the app
  2. Click on the plus sign
  3. Choose your music
  4. Start making the video
  5. Edit the video in the app

Boom! Your masterpiece is ready. As simple as that!

You can create videos just by using your smartphone, and the different filters and effects can make your video look like professionals shot it.

TikTok is more of a platform for people, and the reach is so beyond other platforms that you can also see TikTok stars here and there. In short, it is a fun and useful app that can be used to showcase your talents to earn fame and money if used correctly.

Overview of TikTok App Features

So what makes TikTok so special? An app is always defined by the features that it offers; here’s a look at different features.

1. Video Uploading

TikTok is all about creating and uploading videos. This is the baseline feature of the app, and this is what drove the app to where it is now. The most exciting content is videos as the user can see, hear, and feel the video content, that is literally living that experience, and that is what TikTok used and in the right way. It not only includes videos, but it also lets the users create the videos and be the hero/heroine. You could say that what Youtube did wrong, TikTok did that right, and now it is nailing the video content on all the social media platforms.

2. Video Editing

How many users make youtube videos of themselves vs. how many users make TikTok videos of themselves, the difference is 30% vs. 80%. You won’t upload any photo or video of yours until it is 100% perfect, and you are looking amazing. The reason why so many users upload videos of themselves on TikTok is that the users can easily edit their videos in the app itself, so there is no need to download some other app and learn how editing is done. The editing is so simple in the app that you can make your video seem as if it was shot by a professional in just a few minutes. Therefore in just half an hour, users have the final product wth themselves and that too without leaving TikTok and using some other app.

3. Video Effects and filters

Plain videos are so boring. Therefore, TikTok lets the user use the amazing effects like slo-mo, reverse, zoom, and all to create a video with amazing effects. Apart from that, using effects and filters is fun too, Snapchat users cannot agree more. The magic to change ordinary to extraordinary lies in effects and filters. An image can become a hero from zero using different filters and effects, so just think how much a video can be changed using the right filters and effects.

4. Video AR Filters

AR is a life changer, and now you can use it on your TikTok videos too. You can add any object in your video, and you can change the background of your video, add characters, and even interact with those characters. This can also be used to shoot ad videos, and thus this feature is a blessing for the TikTok influencers. They can easily shoot interesting ad videos using the AR filters. This will be very useful for brand awareness. If the company is able to create an exciting and fun character, in no time, the company would be able to see millions of people making videos with their brand characters.

5. Add Soundtracks

Want to show your dancing talent to the world, or want to make a grand hero-like entry using the theme song of some movie, or want to add some exciting background music to your video, this can be done using the soundtrack feature. The power of music is unmatched. If a person is doing sad video, the sad music can make it 100* better. The feature was initially to make a video sound more convincing, but the feature is now used by music artists and studios to increase the reach of their tracks.

6. Likes and Social Sharing

This is the feature that makes TikTok a social media platform. An artist needs some motivation and love, and this is what this feature does. The heart can be used to like a video, and the sharing button can be used to share the video with others. This sharing feature is the reason why you are seeing TikTok videos on all social media platforms. The like button also lets TikTok know your taste, and this will allow TikTok to show you the videos of your taste.

7. Duet videos

This feature lets the creators connect with each other. If you wish to create a video with someone who lives far away, TikTok has a simple solution. The Duet feature can be used to share half the screen with your partner, and therefore you can crate videos with others anytime and from anywhere. You can use filters and effects here too. Moreover, the #Duet can be used to create videos with random people, which gives you the opportunity to connect with others.

8. Slideshow creation

Who said TikTok is all about creating videos? If you do not want to create a video, you can use your photo collections to create a mindblowing slideshow using various filters, effects, and background music. Creating such slideshows is a bit difficult using other applications, but with TikTok, it seems like a piece of cake.

9. QR Code Scanner

Every TikTok user has a unique QR code. You can add anyone using their QR code. No need to search for the person, just scan the QR code to add them. You can also share someone’s QR code to recommend them to your friends. You can also share videos and interact with others. Users just have to save their QR code and share it, and the job is done.

10. Live Streaming

Going live and interacting with your audience is the new trend, and TikTok has also adopted the trend. But live streaming is a feature that is not available for all users. A person must have 1000 followers to unlock the live streaming feature. Although the minimum age of using TikTok is 13 years old, only a 16+ can go live, and if you are above 18, live streaming is a bonus for you. Your followers can send your virtual gifts, which is a digital currency that you can use to get real money.

11. Geolocation

What if none of your followers is live streaming and you want to see some live streaming? The geolocation feature can find all of the nearby bloggers broadcasting live, and if you like them, you can click and have the fun of the live streaming.

12. Personalized Feeds

The #For you is the personalized feed for all the users. It shows videos that you might be interested in by seeing what you like and who you follow. tikTok’s algorithm will detect your taste and will suggest videos that you are much likely to love. This gives users a personalized experience, and it takes care that the users are never bored. If they have nothing to watch, they can just click on #For you can they will see tons of videos of their taste.

13. Profile creation

Last but not least, a user must sign-in to use all these features. The profile creation should be a process of a few clicks, and luckily, TikTok does it so. It also lets the user sign-in using other social media apps.

All these features have made TikTok a groundbreaking success.

TikTok is also a story of buying some other app.i.e, and the TikTok team was able to lift the app this high by adding amazing features and interactive interface. You can create an app that is more successful than TikTok by adding new features and adding a more interactive interface. The competition in the market is less as of now as there are very few TikTok like apps in the market.

Therefore this is the right time to enter the market and crush the competition to become the ultimate king!

TikTok Works

What is the business model of TikTok or How TikTok Makes Money?

Before going into the development process, let’s find out what is the business model of TikTok and how you can earn money by developing an app like TikTok.

There is 4 kind of Monetization model available.

1). In-App Purchase

2). Advertising

3). Fund Raising

4). Selling an App

1. In-app purchase

In April 2020, TikTok generated $78 Million in revenue from in-app purchases.

TikTok is an addiction, and people can spend endless money on addiction. The in-app purchase of Tiktok is coins. These coins can be used as gifts for users, who, in turn, can convert these coins into real cash. The coins are available in the bundles of 100 to 10,000, and the price ranges from 99 cents to $99.99. The in-app purchase has become a significant source of income for Tiktok.

2. Advertisement

Advertisement is the evergreen way for apps to generate revenue. And for an app that is used by billions, advertisements can bring the same amount of money as there are users. Users will see TikTok ads in between different user-generated content. There are three TikTok advertisement models:

Cost per click

Cost per click charges the advertiser when someone clicks on their advertisement. Moderate charges are charged for this model.

Cost per view

TikTok will show the advertiser’s ad to let’s say 1000 users and will charge for that. The pricing for this model will be cheap.

Cost per action

The advertiser has to pay only if a specific action is performed through the ad. This is the most costly but the most useful model as the advertiser has to pay only after the user performs the intended action.

3. Fund Raising

According to reports, TikTok has been funded by high-class investors, and the amount is more than 3 billion dollars.

This is a very effective way to raise money and earn revenue. If you have just started your app or your app is successfully working, fundraising can raise a tremendous amount of money for your app, and thus, you do not have to worry about money for development and everything.

4. Selling an App

Instagram was working successfully, then why was it sold? Selling a running app is like selling a running business, and you can earn a lot from this. If your value is half a billion, you can demand a billion as a running business is priceless. You are not just selling the business, but you are selling a running name, selling a profit-making thing, years of hard work and dedication. On the brighter side, you will get a lot and a lot of money, so it is a fair deal.

You do not have to do this, but as we were discussing all the ways of earning money, this is also an option.

Now we know everything there is to know about Tiktok. So now, let’s see how to develop an app like Tiktok.

Cost of TikTok App

How to develop an app like TikTok?

In order to create a mobile app like TikTok, below useful steps required to take;

  1. Define the idea of your app
  2. Analyze your target audience
  3. Decide features of your app
  4. Create a Prototype for app like TikTok
  5. Design the App like TikTok
  6. Choose Backend Technology
  7. Decide the Monetization Model for TikTok
  8. Integrate Analytics
  9. Launch TikTok Application

Technologies require for TikTok app creation,

  • Kotlin for Android Development
  • Swift for iOS Development
  • Node.js for Back-end Development
  • AWS or Azure for Cloud
  • SQL or MongoDB or Cassandra for Database
  • Azure Stream Analytics for Real-time analytics
  • Google Cloud Messaging and Apple push notifications service for Notifications
  • ARCore and ML Kit for Face Detection and Face Recognization
  • Google Maps API for Geo Location
  • for Chat

Backend Team Requires for TikTok App

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


You can hire a leading app development company, and you can outsource your app development to the experts, this will save your time, energy, and money. Due to their knowledge and experience in this field, outsourcing your app development work can be a better option.

Cost of TikTok App

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

To develop the app like TikTok would cost around $40,000 to $50,000 with all the basic features for a single Android or iOS platform. By including advanced features and developing the app for multiple platforms, the price can also raise up to $90,000 for TikTok kind of short video creation app, as per the market scenario.

The hourly price may differ according to the company that you choose.

  • Small Companies Charges: $20 – $50
  • Medium Companies Charges: $50 – $100
  • Enterprise-level Companies Charges: $150 – $250.

List of factors affecting the app development cost


The two leading platforms that are available and widely used are Android and iOS.

If you choose both, obviously the price will be more when compared to single-platform development. Therefore, developing your app for more than one platform will raise the price.


You know how designer clothes are costlier than other clothes. The same will happen with the app. The more user-friendly the design is, the more money it will cost. If you want something totally different and creative, it will affect the underlying price, or if you are happy with a simple and user-friendly interface, you can maintain your budget. But remember, great designing can be a one-time investment, with amazing return benefits.

Development Team

If you are not outsourcing your work, you have to hire the development team, and you have to provide them with all the resources that they need, and you have to pay their full salaries.

On the other hand, if you outsource the work, you do not have to buy any technology or other development-related resources, and you just have to pay the fees of the app development company that you hire.


The feature is the most vital part of app development. It is the core of your app. And obviously, the more features you want, the more you have to pay, as developing a feature will cost human hours, and accordingly, the price will increase.

How much time does it take to develop mobile app like TikTok?

Developing Tiktok app will take time around 16 Weeks.

The time will also increase up to 25 weeks, according to requirements, features and platform compatibility for Tiktok app development.

Here’s the TikTok app developing time breakdown for implement some basic and must-have features for your TikTok application

FeaturesAndroid DevelopmentiOS DevelopmentBack-end Development
Admin Panel--40 Hours
Log/Sign in25 Hours25 Hours21 Hours
Upload Video10 Hours10 Hours5 Hours
Edit Profile48 Hours48 Hours5 Hours
Effects and Filters20 Hours20 Hours14 Hours
Edit Video48 Hours48 Hours5 Hours
Notifications12 Hours12 Hours12 Hours
Likes and comments30 Hours30 Hours20 Hours
Sharing4 Hours4 Hours-
Basic UI30 Hours30 Hours-
Geo-location50 Hours50 Hours20 Hours
Search20 Hours20 Hours20 Hours

Top TikTok Clones Available in the Market

After knowing all the features and the prices to build them, if you want to go forward with developing your own TikTok like app, you should first go through the market competition. All these TikTok like apps are available in the market and they have entered the race of becoming the next big thing. If you are serious about developing an app like TikTok, you should go through all these apps to know their features and offerings.

TikTok Clones List is as Follows:

  1. Instagram Reels
  2. MX TakaTak
  3. Gaana Hotshots
  4. Moj – Short Video App
  5. Mitron
  6. Josh – Short Video App
  7. Snack Video
  8. Dubsmash
  9. Vigo Video
  10. Music Video Show

TikTok Screens

Why is TikTok so much Popular and Famous?

Big players like Instagram have understood the potential of TikTok and also that this is the right time to enter and infiltrate the market as not many players are there. Instagram has recently launched Instagram Reel and is trying to take over the market, but there is still time for you as Instagram has added TikTok as a feature, and there is not a separate app. One app can be used only for one thing, and for Instagram, it is still uploading photos and videos.

For TikTok, the best part was the process of making videos. Users were able to create videos that seemed as if they were shot by professionals, all thanks to the filters and user-friendly interface and editing tools.

Users were able to see so many videos and new content that they feel entertained all the time. It was the power of TikTok, letting every user become a star easily and providing tons of content.

The race is on, and you should hurry up, or else you will miss the golden opportunity.

Story Time

Bill Gates is an inspiration for many of us. So let’s take one of his stories.

This is an incident from one of his interviews. The interviewer asked him, “Sir, what is the secret of your success?”

He gave her a cheque from his chequebook and told her to write down the amount she wanted.

She said, “I do not mean this sir,” and then she repeated the question in another way.

He gave her the same answer and handed her the cheque she had refused to collect, and she still declined. He tore the check and then said to her….

“The secret to my success is that I don’t miss opportunities as you did now… You could have been the richest broadcaster in the world.”

Moral: Life is a game of seizing the opportunity. One opportunity can make all your dreams real, you just have to seize it.

TikTok is that opportunity, you just have to work hard and fast, and you could become bigger than TikTok.

Create your own app like TikTok

As of June 2020, 120 Million Indian users were using TikTok daily, but due to India-China disputes, the Indian Government has banned TikTok and 59 other Chinese Apps. This means, if you look at this situation as an opportunity, 120 million people are waiting for a TikTok like product to use it for their entertainment. There is a demand in the market and there is no supplier.

You can be the supplier and you can get an audience sized – 120 million, only if you are fast enough to take the right action.

This is a much bigger opportunity for Indian companies as a moment known as “Make In India” or “Aatmanirbhar Bharat” has been started by the respected Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi and Indian people have started following this moment. Therefore if the app is made in India, the audience will be more than happy to use that platform.

If you are convinced that TikTok is the next big thing for you and you want to create an app like TikTok, you have two options, either create the app in-house or get it developed by some app development company.

Fasten your seat belts and start moving. You cannot seize the opportunity by just sitting, start doing something. Contact an app development company and start developing your app now!

Take Away

The Early bird gets the worm, and the rest starve!

Many have understood the benefits of developing an app like TikTok, and it’s just a matter of time, that someone will be bigger and better than TikTok, if you take the right actions at the right time, you can be that someone. If you think that an app like TikTok can be the next big thing, and you want to be the owner of that next big thing, start working now. Social media is the biggest app genre and the TikTok race has presented to you the opportunity to be in the top list of social media apps.

Mr. Vivek Shah
Author: Mr. Vivek Shah
He is the pioneer, motivational speaker, solution provider, MD and CEO of Capermint Technologies Pvt Ltd: A leading Mobile Games & App development company. He believes in crafting creativity with calibre which construct a valuable outcome for the world out there looking for innovation. As a CEO, he likes to help other companies to transform their app ideas into reality.

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