Category Application Development
cost to develop app like TikTok Have a compelling idea to build an alternate TikTok? Start from finding the answer to “How much does it cost to build an app like TikTok?”.

With almost 1.53 billion people as of 2023, TikTok, one of the most popular social media apps, has penetrated the global market with plenty of USPs to offer. The app holds approximately 50.3% of the market in the USA and 87.9% of the market in Saudi Arabia. These numbers related to TikTok app development are based on a report shared by Statista for January 2023. 

apps like TikTok

One of the most downloaded apps, TikTok has amazing features that make it suitable for several categories such as a video streaming platform, a chat messenger, and social media app as well. Now, if you are planning to learn “How much does it cost to build a social media app like TikTok?”, you might want to go through the details explaining the costs to build an app like TikTok. In this blog, we will throw some light on these costs. So, stay with us until the end of the blog.

build app like tiktok

Features of TikTok

Now, before proceeding further and discussing the cost to create an app like TikTok, let’s understand what features users get with the app that you will need to consider for your app’s success as well.

1. Video-sharing platform

Following the success of TikTok, similar apps came into existence. However, video-sharing features remained the most common and most factor among all these apps. Even though all apps like TikTok tweaked their user interfaces and accompanied video sharing with additional features, TikTok still leads the global market due to having an early hold. On the app, users can create video content starting from 15 seconds to 10 minutes now and share it on the app for their followers to view and follow.

2. Growth in online presence

TikTok, one of the most popular apps, also offers an opportunity for content creators to grow their online presence. By using the right TikTok content creation strategies, they can grow the app to reach a wider audience. Similar to Linkedin, Instagram, etc, TikTok also uses hashtags to push the content. It allows viewers with similar interests to follow their favorite hashtags and watch similar content. Famous content creators also get benefits and opportunities to participate in content monetization programs.

3. Effects and filters

TikTok has integrated effects and filters for its users to make relevant edits to their content.  Although the idea was majorly popularized by Snapchat, similar apps like TikTok have also started offering filters and effects as well to their users. These filters can be used to create entertaining content and effects, icons and other elements can be added to videos. In short, users can be as creative as they want. This factor can sometimes add reasonable cost to the mobile app development cost.

4. Like, comment, and share

Now, another factor that influences the cost to develop social media app like TikTok is the app’s ability to allow users to comment and share. Providing feedback and engagement is an important aspect of content creation. This engagement is based on likes, comments, and shares that creators receive from viewers of their videos. It helps the algorithm rate the content, and push its audience that might like similar content.

5. Collaboration

This feature allows two or more content creators to collaborate and produce combined content. Creators can make music duels, vines, and more with in-built features that allow remixing and easy collaborations. Tagging fellow creators is also an easy task on the app.

6. Music Library

To ensure that creators have all the resources to create perfect content, TikTok comes with a huge music library. Music choices can either be based on the requirement of the content or creators can also go for trending songs. Trending songs have a better probability of increasing the outreach of a creator due to TikTok algorithms that push content with the trending music to the top.

7. In-built video editor

Apart from filters and effects, TikTok includes an in-built video editor as well. This video editor allows multiple editing features to ensure your content looks professional. 

Some of these features are:

  • Edit clips
  • Edit sounds
  • Edit text and positioning
  • Adding overlays
  • Video speed adjustment
  • Content framing
  • Adding sound effects
  • And more…

Using these features, creators can create exceptional content without leaving the application. A majority of great transition videos that have high viewership are a result of these content editing tools. 

8. Live streaming

 TikTok can also be used for streaming live. In fact, TikTok allows streamers to use filters and effects during the stream. These effects are applied to the stream in real time. TikTok also even allows the audience to send virtual gifts to their favorite content creators even during the live stream.

9. Virtual gifts

TikTok virtual gifts can be bought with in-built TikTok coins. These coins are purchasable with real money and users can send their preferred gifts to creators as many times as they want.

10. Video downloader

When planning to build an app like TikTok, you can also give users an option to download the videos they like and watch them offline. You can integrate the TikTok Video Downloader tool into your application to help users download their favorite videos for free. You can allow users to easily download videos in different formats and resolutions and watch them on any device. It provides a convenient way to download Tiktok videos without a watermark for viewing later.

How much does TikTok Cost?

To answer the question “How much does TikTok cost?”, there are no official figures for the TikTok app development cost revealed by the creator. However, below, we have attempted to provide understanding to help you figure out how much does it cost to build an app like TikTok.

Factors influencing the cost to develop an app like TikTok

Now, apart from the features that influence the cost, let’s understand a few other factors that influence of TikTok app development cost as well. 

1. Tools and frameworks 

The tech stack of any app can vary from its alternative due to the continuously evolving technological world. From upgrading frameworks to new programming languages coming into existence, there can be multiple factors influencing the cost. However, based on TikTok, we are considering a few famous tools that are used by top mobile app development companies to build apps. 

TikTok app development

Note: The cost mentioned below are from the USA region

Cost of Hiring Frontend Developer $61 - $80/per hour (Intermediate Developer)
Cost of Hiring Backend Developer $61 - $80/per hour (Intermediate Developer)
Cost of Hiring Cloud Architect $68 - $86/per hour (Intermediate Developer)
Cost of Hiring Service Designer $32 - $40/per hour
Cost of Amazon Elastic Transcoder Starting at $0.0075/min
Highest Development Cost $150 * 4800 = $720,000


2. Hiring cost

Any developer team or development company that you hire or partner with to work on a TikTok alternative project, you will have to pay them depending on multiple factors. For example, a developer from India will cost you less compared to an app developer from the USA with the same level of experience. Furthermore, an image is given for your reference -

how to make an App Like TikTok

The above Android app development cost report by Appinventiv explains how the hourly cost has a huge gap between the Asian market and the North American market. The final cost will be calculated based on the same cost and we will discuss the formula later in this blog.

Note: The numbers mentioned below are approximate values. The actual cost of development will vary depending upon the complexity and the number of features added onto the applications.

Cost of developing TikTok apps in the US $75,000 - $300,000
Cost of developing TikTok App in India $40,000 - $80,000


3. Platform

Another factor that influences the answer to the question of how much does a TikTok app cost, is the platform you are planning to release the app on. If you are planning to build native apps for platforms like Android and iOS, your app development cost doubles up. Also, you need to take care of the maintenance costs for each platform. 

On the other hand, hybrid apps are also in fashion. You only need to build one hybrid app to launch it on multiple platforms and your maintenance cost remains in control as well. But native vs hybrid apps have performance gaps. Native apps can support more features with amazing performance while hybrid apps are designed to support fewer features. From the cost perspective, hybrid apps are the best.There  is one more option i.e. Web app, however that isn’t as popular considering it lacks the intimate connection of having a dedicated app for the service.

Cost of Native App (iOS & Android) $50,000 - $100,000 (for each platform)
Hybrid App $40,000 - $80,000 (both platforms)
Web App $30,000 - $60,000

To learn the difference between the three types of apps, try learning about the difference between Native app vs hybrid app vs web app.

4. User Interface and experience

You can pick any other app like TikTok, to take their UI as an example. For instance, a dedicated page for videos where users can scroll through and find content either from people they follow or based on their taste. Now, your UI and UX strategy influences your cost as well. The number of features that you want to use, the complexity of the app UI trend, animations you want to include in the app, etc are some factors that will influence your cost. So, to prepare a budget to build a similar app like TikTok, you have to consider this factor as well.

5. App maintenance and updates

App maintenance and update costs are a few factors that you can not ignore while planning a budget to build a similar app like TikTok. These both are recurring processes and will require attention from dedicated developers. Thus, your budget to build another app like TikTok should have a financial strategy in mind that can cover the cost to build an app with TikTok features. 

TikTok revenue model

Before we wind up this blog, let’s understand a few pointers that show how TikTok makes money for your reference so that you can understand how you can cover the costs of developing an app like TikTok and make profits as well.

tiktok app development cost

  • TikTok ads - Ads drive the majority of revenue for this one of the most downloaded apps. There are multiple types of ads as well. These types can be in-feed video ads, brand pop-up ads, effects ads, 60-second ad videos, etc.
  • In-app purchases - TikTok includes coins that are used to send gifts to others. These virtual coins can be bought by TikTok users.
  • E-commerce - TikTok has been helping numerous brands to sell their products and services directly to the audience. These e-commerce ads are integrated in between the TikTok videos that redirect the user to the brand website if the user is interested.

As per the statistics by Oberlo, TikTok is estimated to reach a revenue of $8.75 billion in the year 2023. The total percentage of revenue increase from the last year would be 46.8%.

How much does TikTok app cost? - A formula to calculate

To understand how much you need to pay to build the best apps like TikTok, you have to use a simple formula. 

develop a TikTok clone

Average TikTok clone app development costs

On average, the app development project can take up to six to twelve months depending on the complexity of the app. Now, depending on the complexity level, features, and duration it takes, the average cost to build an app like TikTok can vary between $50,000 to $100,000. These costs can be influenced by numerous factors such as the experience level of the developer, the geography of hired developers, the number of platforms, etc.

How to create an app like TikTok?

 We hope, you may have understood the cost to develop an app like TikTok clone in a ballpark, therefore, now, we can discuss how to make an app like TikTok in short. To create an app like TikTok, you need to follow a few stages. These steps are -

TikTok features

Wrapping Up

Preparing an app like TikTok has to be a well-thought process because the competition in the present market is quite high. Top apps like Instagram & Youtube have also launched reels & shorts that follow a similar format. So, if you are sure that your strategy can cover the development cost and generate profits, go ahead with the app. Hopefully, our blog defining the cost to create an app like TikTok will come in handy. Also, do not forget to explore MobileAppDaily for more in-depth reads based on continuously evolving mobile app industry trends. To learn about the best mobile app development companies, check out the link provided to get your TikTok app created. We will see you with another blog soon. Meanwhile, all the best for your app!

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How can I create an app like TikTok?

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    In order to create an app, one needs to integrate features like hashtag search, live streaming, share videos, etc. It would also require a dedicated app development team to develop the app and a team to manage the content uploaded.

  • What is the average cost to develop an app?

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  • How to make apps like TikTok?

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  • How to create apps like TikTok?

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Sakshi Kaushik

By Sakshi Kaushik LinkedIn Icon

A passionate writer and tech lover, she strives to share her expertise with mobile app developers and fellow tech enthusiasts. During her moments away from the keyboard, she relishes delving into thriller narratives, immersing herself in diverse realms.

Uncover executable insights, extensive research, and expert opinions in one place.