TikTok, one of the most popular video-sharing platforms, might be expanding into another business, and it is enough to make Twitch pay attention. The company is currently working on a desktop-based streaming application called TikTok Live Studio. It will be used by game players to broadcast their screens. The app will work with non-gaming software as well.
This means the company is thinking beyond allowing creators to broadcast from their phones. If the app is ever released, TikTok will be competing with Facebook in yet another business, as the latter operates Facebook Gaming. TikTok will also be competing with Google’s YouTube Gaming service.
TikTok set up a page for TikTok Live Studio, but it appears the page has gone down.
According to TikTok, the new game streaming platform is undergoing testing in some Western countries. Only a few thousand people have access to it. Streamers can log in with their TikTok account.
A Twitter user, @zachbussey, posted some screenshots of the application, commenting the platform is still in its basic form. However, it can broadcast games and other applications in landscape and portrait. The application can source footage from games, programs, mobile devices, gaming consoles, and cameras for watchers to see the streamer’s face.
There is also a chat interface for viewers to communicate with other viewers or the gamer.
“It’s super basic in its current state. Has both Landscape and Portrait Scenes. Sources include Game Capture, Mobile Capture, Video Capture, Program Capture, and some text/images. No browser sources, or alerts. Emojis are limited to the stock ones.”
Many features that make streaming more convenient and lucrative are still lacking. For example, there is no way to use browser windows as a source, and you can’t show alerts for tips and new follows during streaming. This is not surprising since the app is in testing.
However, there are many practical features already. Streamers can monetize their channels by accepting tips. They can also enable or disable comments and activate keyword filters.
TikTok users have been live streaming from their desktop devices by using third-party packages like Streamlabs, although you can only access the service through an invite. Other workarounds to publish live content from their computers include Loola.tv.
However, these workarounds are usually fraught with problems and could stop working at any time. For example, Loola.tv announced this July that most of its users have been blocked from streaming to TikTok.
Given the popularity of TikTok, especially among the youth, this new streaming platform can snatch considerable market share from the established players. For example, streamers do not need to ask their audience to join their streams on Twitch or YouTube Gaming. This means both streamers and viewers stay on TikTok’s platform.
Another benefit of this game streaming platform is that it will encourage more users to access the platform through the desktop. While it is possible to watch live streams on mobile phones, the best experience is found on the desktop. If this game streaming service is enough to make people use their desktop, it will help TikTok to expand its reach.
TikTok told TechCrunch there is no guarantee this game streaming service will roll out in the future, as not every feature tested by the platform makes out as a product. However, given the amount of work TikTok has already put into the service, there is reason to be hopeful.
However, getting a streaming platform off the ground is not an easy task, as Microsoft found out. The software maker eventually abandoned its Mixr platform, even though it enticed one of the biggest names in streaming with a juicy contract and was ready to attract other streamers with money.