TikTok is increasing its living room footprint just in time for the Thanksgiving holidays in the United States. In conjunction with Amazon Fire TV, the business debut its TV app in North America earlier this month. TikTok’s TV app is now available on a wider range of TV platforms in North America, including Google TV and other Android TV OS devices, as well as some LG and Samsung Smart TVs. The TikTok TV app is a reimagining of the famous short-form video app for larger screens.
When signed in, the app provides access to a user’s “For You” and “Following” feeds, as well as a “Discover” tab with some of the most popular material from throughout the site, including humor, gaming, cuisine, travel, sports, and animals, among other categories.
However, unlike TikTok for mobile, where users must swipe vertically to move among the various videos, TikTok TV has an AutoPlay mode that provides a continuous stream without pauses. Instead of utilizing black bars to fill up the screen space to allow vertical videos on the larger TV screen, the app displays a dimmer version of the movie in the backdrop to make the experience more visually engaging.
The business has previously released a TikTok TV app for Google TV and Android TV in the United Kingdom, France, and Germany, but had to make it available to consumers in the United States and Canada. TikTok also debut its TV app on Samsung TVs in the United Kingdom last year. Samsung said the app would be available on most of its 2021 smart TVs in the United States later this year.
TikTok has also confirmed that the new TV app will work with LG Smart TV devices running webOS 4.0 through 6.0 from 2018 to 2021. TikTok’s growth might place it in direct rivalry with YouTube for user attention.
Today, Google’s video app has a sizable following in the living room, with more than 100 million Americans watching YouTube and YouTube TV on their large screens. Furthermore, according to third-party data conducted by eMarketer in October 2021, more than half of U.S. YouTube watchers, or 113.1 million individuals, currently watch using a connected TV device.
Many of those users, though, may not interested in short-form material. Last year, the business said that in a 12-month period, the view time of YouTube material exceeding 30 minutes climbed by more than 90%.
This might indicate that TV viewers are more interested in longer-form video material than mobile users. With plans for a TV app in the works, TikTok’s decision to increase the maximum video length to three minutes earlier this year might have been influenced by this.
TikTok boasted in its introduction that it had over a billion monthly users, although that number excludes several areas where the TikTok TV app is not yet available. The new TV app will be available on compatible platforms starting today.