TikTok LIVE is a great way to interact with viewers in real-time. But how does it work, and how easy is it to use TikTok LIVE Studio? Let’s take a look.
What is TikTok LIVE?
TikTok LIVE is a live-streamed section of TikTok, giving content creators the chance to connect directly with followers. You can respond to comments and questions, and if you’re a master of the hustle, you can receive virtual gifts that can be exchanged for real money.
TikTok LIVE muscled onto the scene as direct competition to well-known, established live streamers like Facebook Live and Instagram Live.
How do I get TikTok LIVE?
To qualify for TikTok LIVE, you’ll need at least 1,000 followers. Once you’ve ticked that box, anyone over the age of 16 can start broadcasting with TikTok LIVE. And if you’re over 18, you can earn TikTok LIVE Gifts – more on those in a minute, though.
How does TikTok LIVE work?
As long as you’re eligible, TikTok LIVE is easy to access.
- Open the TikTok app and tap the create button (+) at the bottom of your screen.
- Click ‘LIVE’ from the menu.
- You’ll see a preview of your video feed. In that preview, you can title your live stream, turn comments on or off, add effects and filters, choose a charity to support, and share your TikTok LIVE video through your connected social media platforms.
- Once you’re set, hit ‘Go LIVE’ and… go live!
When your TikTok LIVE video is finished, just hit the power button at the bottom of the menu screen. Your TikTok LIVE stream will end. If you want to replay, download or delete your TikTok LIVE video, click ‘Settings and privacy’, then ‘LIVE Replay’.
What are TikTok LIVE Gifts?
If viewers want to reward their favorite creators with some cold, hard cash, they can do so with TikTok LIVE Gifts.
To receive TikTok LIVE Gifts, you need at least three TikTok posts that have racked up 1,000+ views in the past 30 days, and 1,000 followers or more.
Viewers pay for TikTok Coins, which are used to buy ‘gifts’ to send during your TikTok LIVE videos. These can be anything from images of a tennis ball to a cute little Corgi. Once you earn a certain amount of TikTok LIVE Gifts, they can be converted into ‘Diamonds’, which you can exchange for real currency.
To enable TikTok LIVE Gifts, you need to be part of the TikTok Creator Next program. We explain that, alongside all the other ways to make money on TikTok, here. But the long and short of it is: to set up TikTok LIVE Gifts, just head to the menu in the top-right of your profile. Then, hit ‘Creator Tools’, select ‘LIVE Gifts’ and follow the onscreen instructions. Then you should be all set to start earning TikTok LIVE Gifts!
Why can’t I go live on TikTok?
If you’re unable to use TikTok LIVE, it could be for several reasons. These include:
- You might have lost some followers. If your follower count has slipped under 1,000, you’ll lose the ability to use TikTok LIVE.
- You could be in a country that doesn’t allow TikTok LIVE. If you’re visiting China, India or Hong Kong, you’ll be unable to create or upload TikTok LIVE videos. That’s because TikTok is banned in these territories.
- Your TikTok app may be outdated. Check for updates, uninstall the app, turn your phone off and on again – try all that usual business. Sometimes you just miss an update and your device can't deal with it.
If you’ve got more than 1,000 followers, are in an area that supports TikTok Live, have an up-to-date app and still can’t access TikTok LIVE, it’s best you get in touch with the TikTok support team.
To do this, head to your profile, open up ‘Settings and privacy’ from the menu in the top-right, then scroll down to ‘Report a problem’. Here, you’ll see the ‘LIVE’ section. Click ‘I can’t start a LIVE’, describe your issue, then submit your response. Someone at TikTok will review your case and hopefully it should get cleared up!
If you’re submitting feedback to TikTok using a computer, you can head here instead.
How long is a TikTok LIVE ban?
Most TikTok LIVE bans are temporary, lasting between one day and two weeks. If you’ve received a temporary ban, you can see how many days you have left in the ‘Livestream Restrictions’ section.
Once you’ve served your time, you’ll be allowed back on TikTok LIVE with the same privileges you had before the ban.
However, more serious offenses can result in a permanent ban. Unless it’s appealed, this ban lasts forever – you’ll not be allowed to use TikTok LIVE again.
If you feel like you’ve been unfairly banned, you can reach out to TikTok in a similar way to troubleshooting general TikTok LIVE problems: Head to ‘Report a problem’, then ‘LIVE’, onto ‘Hosting LIVE’, and finally ‘LIVE is suspended’. Then, if your problem isn’t answered there, you can describe it in detail within the text field.
You can get hit with a TikTok LIVE ban for:
- Threatening practices, including weapons, illegal substances and more
- Hate speech against individuals or communities
- Plagiarized content, whether it’s the entire broadcast or just a portion
- Overuse of profanity during broadcast
- Something else that could be seen as violating TikTok’s Community Guidelines or Terms of Service
However, accidents happen. Viewers can report your TikTok LIVE stream for the wrong reason, the algorithm can mistakenly flag your content, or a TikTok moderator could get something mixed up. If you think that’s happened to you, get in touch with TikTok and they’ll review your case.
Can I use a TikTok live view bot?
Some people might tell you that it’s OK to use a TikTok live view bot. If you’re unfamiliar with that phrase, good! A TikTok live view bot is a third-party service that artificially inflates your live views with bots. You’ll usually have to pay to use one, and if you get caught, it can result in a ban.
It’s not worth the risk, and the views don’t count as ‘real’ engagement anyway. It’s just inflation, and if your TikTok LIVE videos have thousands of views but no comments, it’ll look fishy. Stay away from TikTok live view bots!
What is TikTok LIVE Studio?
TikTok LIVE Studio is a Windows-only program that allows content creators to stream as they would on a platform like Twitch. This means they can stream directly to TikTok LIVE from their desktop or gaming console.
At the moment, it’s only available to a few thousand users worldwide. TikTok LIVE Studio may roll out more widely in the future, to draw attention from live streaming competitors like Twitch. Keep your eyes peeled!
What are TikTok LIVE Weekly Rankings?
Live Rankings are a handy way of showing which TikTok LIVE streamers are the most popular during any given week. The chart is housed in the LIVE section of the TikTok mobile app, and is based on the number of Diamonds creators have collected per week. Essentially, this means the more popular you are with your viewers, the more Diamonds they’ll give you, and the higher you’ll climb up the Weekly Rankings! The Top 20 creators will be given prizes – something to aim for, right?
If you don’t want to be included in the Weekly Rankings rat race, that’s cool. Just click ‘LIVE Screen’, head to ‘Settings’, click ‘Rankings’, then opt out in the ‘Admin Settings’ section.
What are TikTok LIVE Campaigns?
TikTok LIVE Campaigns are promotional campaigns organized by TikTok themselves. They usually involve user tasks, leaderboards, and things like that, fostering engagement and community. There’ll often be a prize involved for participating creators, and can help you grow your following.
LIVE Campaigns can be found at the top of the main LIVE page, displayed as banners. If you want to opt out, it’s super simple. You just need to click the ‘Opt-Out’ button at the top of the campaign page.
How to make the best TikTok LIVE videos
Once you’re ready to roll on TikTok LIVE, it’s worth keeping the below tips in mind.
The time slot is important!
Consider promoting your TikTok LIVE video before it happens, using regular TikToks and your other social channels to get the word out. In terms of when to go live, choose a time that works best for your audience. If most of your viewers are based in the UK, it’s no good starting your TikTok LIVE video when they’re all in bed. Learn more about your audience with TikTok Analytics.
Keep your TikTok LIVE video short and sweet
There’s no golden rule for exactly how long a TikTok LIVE video should be, but 30 minutes has proven to work. It’s the same length as an episode of something light on Netflix – long enough to offer value, but short enough to commit to.
Post a video directly before using TikTok LIVE
If viewers watch one of your TikTok videos while you’re live, they’ll be notified that your TikTok LIVE video is happening. This means they’ll be able to access your TikTok LIVE video directly from their For You feed, rather than browsing through the LIVE section. You can give viewers an extra nudge with a LIVE countdown sticker, which you can place in your regular TikToks.
Set the agenda
Assign your TikTok LIVE video a LIVE Topic, so people can get an idea of what to expect. You can also drop hints about what you’ll discuss on your other TikTok content.
Weigh up the idea of adding another host and using TikTok LIVE with another content creator. This way, you can bring in two different audiences, have an actual conversation and hopefully win over some new fans.
Host a LIVE Q&A
Once your TikTok LIVE video’s rolling, you can click the Q&A button – it looks like a speech bubble. This turns the session into a proper Q&A session, allowing you to select viewers’ questions and display them in your TikTok LIVE video for everyone to see.
Ensure your internet connection is stable
It would suck if your TikTok LIVE video started lagging halfway through. Check, double-check and triple-check your internet connection before streaming, to ensure it can handle TikTok LIVE.
Check your mic
You can probably get away with using the microphone built into your smartphone, as long as you're tucked away in a quiet space. However, if you’re streaming a TikTok LIVE video from a busy street, you might need something more substantial. Check out our lavalier microphone guide for the ins and outs of tiny, discreet mics that’ll do your sound justice.
Smile for the camera
Test out camera angles and settings before going live. If you’re sitting in a room, it’s best to stick to just one angle.
Nail your lighting
Bad lighting can ruin great content. Read our ring light guide to give yourself the glow-up required for TikTok LIVE.
Have fun and be yourself!
It’s good to know what you’ll be saying in advance, but there’s no need to stick rigidly to a script if you’re filming a TikTok LIVE video. People are tuning in to interact with you – they’re investing their time in your life, so it makes sense that you return the favor. Respond to questions, give shout-outs and make people feel welcome!
If you want to learn about TikTok LIVE in a more visual format, check out our video with Epidemic Sound ambassador Bryan Francisco below.