17th December 2021
This week TikTok has started testing a desktop streaming platform called TikTok Live Studio.
The Windows program can be downloaded onto desktop and allows users to login with their TikTok account details and stream directly to TikTok Live from computers, phones or gaming consoles. It has a chat feature so streamers can communicate with viewers. Content can be streamed in both portrait and landscape and there are basic functions like the ability to add text. People will also be able to accept live gifts like on other Live functions on the platform.
The platform is currently being tested with select users and there is no indication on when or if it will be released to all users. It has previously been possible to live stream to TikTok from a desktop device but only through third party software and it has been invite-only.
TikTok Live Studio may motivate content creators to stay within the TikTok ecosystem rather than branch onto other streaming platforms like Amazon’s Twitch which gives people the capability of streaming gaming and other content. This may be particularly true for content creators who have found their following on TikTok in the first place. However, given that it’s new software, it lacks features that other streaming software has, for example you can’t set in-stream alerts for tips or new follows.
TikTok has recently made updates to its Live function, introducing Live shopping events and more opportunities for creators to make money with its Creator Next function. With the pace of development in this space rapid, TikTok has been investing time and money in ensuring that it keeps pace. This latest move can be seen as the first step towards an ecosystem for TikTok that lives beyond the app, following in the footsteps of Meta and Amazon who already have a host of platforms within their ecosystems, allowing them to grow their audiences whilst benefiting from deeper and more connected data on their behaviours.
There is no guarantee that the feature will roll out after testing, but if it does it could provide opportunity for TikTok to build its own ecosystem and game streaming service, which in time and with TikTok’s audience, potentially rival Twitch, YouTube Gaming and Facebook Gaming. This first foray beyond the app and into the world of platform ecosystems, could come to be seen as a significant.