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TikTok Live Streaming: How to Go Live on TikTok

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Recently, many brands and independent creators have jumped on the short-form video content trend. TikTok, a social media platform, has been a huge proponent in the rise of short-form video streaming. In addition to the small video clips, TikTok offers support for live streaming.

This post will talk about everything brands, and creators need to know about TikTok live streaming. We’ll go over what TikTok is and how to go live on TikTok. To wrap things up, we will look at a few tips for hosting successful live streams on TikTok.

August 2021 Update:

TikTok is testing a desktop streaming software called TikTok Live Studio, which, when downloaded to your desktop, will allow users to log in with their TikTok account and stream directly to TikTok Live. The key benefit for TikTok is that creators will remain within their app instead of asking their audience to watch streams on Twitch or the YouTube live platform. It is yet unknown whether this feature is here to stay, as this test program is currently available only in a handful of Western markets for a few thousand users.

For more information on the release of TikTok Live Studio, check out this TechCrunch article.

Table of Contents

  • What is TikTok?
  • TikTok Live Streaming: The Basics
  • Who Can Live Stream on TikTok?
  • How to Live Stream on TikTok
  • Tips for Successful TikTok Live Streams
  • How to See Who is Live on TikTok
  • Final Thoughts

What is TikTok?

TikTok streaming app

TikTok is a social media app that is designed for video sharing.

TikTok is a popular social media app known for short-form video sharing. Initially, videos on this app were capped at 60 seconds, but recently, the app has evolved to allow videos up to 3 minutes in length.

This Chinese app in 2016 by the developer ByteDance as “Dublin.” The following year, ByteDance purchased Musical.ly. The Musical.ly technology’s functionality is very similar to the TikTok app today.

In August 2018, Musical.ly merged with TikTok, and the company kept the name “TikTok.” The TikTok app crossed the 1 billion download threshold within the next six months. Since then, TikTok’s downloads have more than doubled.

During lockdowns at the start of the pandemic in early 2020, there was a significant surge in the app’s popularity. TikTok dances and trends inspired by the boredom of being stuck at home became a sign of the times.

Video is the only type of media that can be shared on the TikTok app, but users can pull sounds from other videos to create content of their own.

Like other social media platforms such as LinkedIn Live, which is geared towards professionals, TikTok has a unique culture regarding the type of content shared on the app and the formats in which it is shared. Different sounds go viral on TikTok and create trends. Users take the sounds to put their twist on the movement. Users can also “Stitch” or “Duet” videos to incorporate TikToks made by other users in their content.

In 2019, TikTok added support for live streaming.

TikTok Live Streaming: The Basics

TikTok’s live streaming support allows creators to broadcast videos to their followers in real-time. Live streaming is more engaging than pre-recorded content since it gives viewers a more lifelike interaction with the creator.

Live streaming is not an automatic feature on TikTok, and users must meet specific criteria to access this feature.

Who Can Live Stream on TikTok?

Users must be at least 16 years old and have 1000 followers to access live streaming capabilities on TikTok.

TikTok has the right to revoke users’ live streaming rights (either temporarily or permanently) if they violate community guidelines. We will talk more about abiding by these guidelines later in this post.

How to Live Stream on TikTok 

How to Live Stream on TikTok

You can easily live stream on TikTok in just a few simple steps.

It is pretty straightforward if you meet the criteria for going live on TikTok. All you’ve got to do is log in to your TikTok app and click the Create button (the small button with a + in a box at the bottom of the screen). Scroll to the right to the “Live” option.

Choose a cover image and a title for your stream. Apply any effects or filters that you’d like, then click the red “GO LIVE” button.

You can also add moderators to monitor the chat to avoid any inappropriate or obnoxious chatter.

If you’re planning a live stream at a later time, you can schedule it by clicking the calendar icon in your TikTok profile. You’ll be prompted to add an event name, set a start time and duration, and write a description. Click “Create” to save the event.

Tips for Successful TikTok Live Streams

As we’ve covered, live streaming on TikTok is very straightforward if your account is eligible for live streaming. However, there are some things that creators can do to enhance their live streaming experience and find tremendous success.

Let’s review a few of the top tips and best practices for live streaming on TikTok.

Follow the Rules

TikTok has strict community guidelines. If you want to maintain good standing on the platform and keep your live streaming privileges, following all the rules is essential.

Community guidelines on TikTok prohibit content involving:

  • Violence, terrorism, and organized hate
  • Adult content (sexual or pornographic)
  • Hate speech
  • Slurs and derogatory language
  • Weapons
  • Criminal activity (drugs, fraud, gambling, etc.)
  • Violent and graphic content
  • Self-harm and suicide 
  • Grooming and exploitation of minors
  • Misinformation, impersonation, and spam

It is essential to keep it clean, especially since many young users are on the TikTok app.

Interact with Viewers

The informal nature of TikTok live streams often works in favor of creators. When done right, TikTok live streams can make viewers feel like they are on a video call with a friend. This helps make your audience feel more attached to your brand, which is a win-win.

However, you have to make more personalized interactions to create that effect. The chat features on TikTok live streams help you do just that. Encourage participation by asking questions and inviting your viewers to respond in the chat. Read different responses out loud and answer them directly.

Calling your viewers by their usernames and responding to their comments can help them feel seen and heard. This will make them feel like they are part of a conversation rather than just a spectator.

Go Live Often

If you are trying to build a loyal audience, it is good to go live often. You can create a schedule so that your supporters and followers know when to tune in. If you want to stick to a more sporadic plan, give your followers a heads up so that they have at least some notice.

Invite a Co-Host

One cool feature of TikTok’s live streaming tool is that you can add a co-host to your live stream. Broadcasters can invite other TikTok users to join the stream as a presenter. Whom you invite to co-host your stream with you depends on the nature of your brand.

For example, if you’re a creator in the true-crime space, your audience might enjoy guest appearances from retired law enforcement personnel who can help you analyze current happenings. Other brands benefit from inviting celebrities or influencers onto the stream because that will help to attract new viewers.

Pay Attention to Stream Quality

Maintaining a pleasant user experience is critical for a successful live stream, so ensuring that your streaming quality is good is a must. You can do a few things to produce a high-quality live stream.

First and foremost, it is essential to stream with a reliable internet connection. A weak internet connection could cause the video to be choppy or fail midstream.

You also want to make sure that your audio is clear. Eliminate any background noises that are distracting or drown out your voice. Stay close enough to the microphone so that your viewers can hear you.

Also, make sure the stream is visually appealing. Stream somewhere with adequate lighting. Use a tripod or prop up your phone in a way that captures you from a flattering angle. Try to get a straight shot rather than tilted up or down.

Have Fun

As a social media platform, TikTok is full of fun and lighthearted content. It is good to match that energy to meet the general TikTok audience’s expectations.

Don’t be afraid to have fun and crack some jokes. If you’re at ease and having a good time, your audience will feel it.

If your brand typically takes a more serious approach and requires a more formal digital environment, a TikTok video strategy might not be the best route for you.

How to See Who is Live on TikTok

tiktok live stream

You can do a few things to ensure success in your TikTok live streaming endeavors.

It is essential to keep the user experience in mind as a creator. With that, it is vital that you let your audience know how they can find your live streams on TikTok, especially if you’re bringing supporters over from other live streaming platforms.

There are a couple of different ways viewers can see who is live on TikTok.

The first option is to tap the “LIVE” button in the top left corner of your screen. You can scroll through live streams or click “Explore” on the right side to see some more currently running lives.

Users can also scroll through their “Following” or “For You” pages, and suggested live streams will come up among the other recommended videos. Sometimes, live stream notifications pop up in the users’ inboxes.

Solutions for Advanced Streaming Needs

If your target audience is TikTok and you’re looking for a more casual way to connect with them, this social media streaming app will undoubtedly come in handy.

However, if you are hoping to live virtual stream events, such as conferences, sporting events, lectures, fitness classes, or the like, you’re going to need support from a professional streaming solution.

A professional streaming solution allows broadcasters to create an on-brand experience for their viewers with influential white-label video players that can be customized and embedded anywhere. Many online video platforms also offer video monetization, enhanced security, and more.

The bottom line is that a professional steaming solution puts more control in the hands of broadcasters and allows them to achieve more with their online video content.

Final Thoughts

TikTok has been a significant force in the media sharing space over the past couple of years. It has helped to make short-form videos relevant once again, and it has helped many users with small followings to go viral and extend their reach.

While TikTok’s app is a great live streaming setup for some brands and creators, professional broadcasters need the support of a more advanced solution.

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