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TikTok makes more moves toward the big(ger) screen

FILE PHOTO: A TikTok logo is displayed on a smartphone in this illustration

FILE PHOTO: A TikTok logo is displayed on a smartphone in this illustration

Published Jun 28, 2022


Johannesburg - From the small screen to a bigger screen short-form video app, TikTok has announced its expansion of TikTok TV to more devices.

US electronics brand Vizio has become the latest to offer a version of the TikTok app to its TVs.

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Vizio follows suit after offerings from Samsung, LG, Android, and Amazon's Fire TV platforms were launched recently.

TikTok has quickly become one of the world's most popular mobile video-sharing apps with the TikTok TV app, specifically designed for a TV viewing experience.

“The TikTok TV app is built for a TV home-viewing experience, making it easy to watch content from our 'For You' and 'Following' feeds on the big screen,” the Beijing company said, commenting on the TV version of its app.

“This includes the most liked and viewed videos across a huge range of categories, from gaming and comedy to food and animals.”

With the rise in popularity of social network apps and short-form video content from platforms like TikTok, video content has witnessed an evolution of its own.

Where horizontal video consumption was the primary format, apps like TikTok have popularised vertically-produced and edited videos.

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While TikTok supports the uploading of horizontally formatted videos, which reach full screen when a smartphone is rotated, most of the content uploaded and created by users is done in vertical format.

TikTok TV brings the app back to traditional horizontal video formats. In contrast, for videos created and uploaded in vertical format, the app makes space fillers around the video being played.

Despite TikTok's success, the app faces stiff competition from rivals, some of whom have taken on the app with versions of their own and new built-in features.

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Meta-owned social network Facebook takes on TikTok through Facebook Watch, an independent tab within its mobile app. Furthermore, the world's most popular social network created a version of the app dedicated to videos on mobile. It also managed to beat TikTok to TV viewers with the Facebook Watch version of its app, designed for smart TVs.


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Meta's photo and video-sharing app, Instagram, met TikTok's success with its Reels feature. The functionality of Reels within Instagram closely mirrors that of TikTok. It is testing a full-screen version of its app, which will match the aesthetic seen within the TikTok app.

YouTube Shorts

Almost a year ago, the world's most popular video-sharing platform, YouTube, quietly introduced South Africans to the beta version of YouTube Shorts with the YouTube app. Hence its namesake, the Google-owned company's home for short-form video, has risen in popularity and makes for more mobile-friendly consumption of its content.

IOL Tech