Whether you’ve been dabbling in TikTok or you’re a certified scroller spending hours a day on the app, you’ve probably seen your fair share of live TikTok streams. These involve users streaming what they’re doing in real time to their followers and can consist of anything from cooking tips to dances and even simply live-blogging a typical day.
TikTok’s live streams work a little differently to many other platforms’ equivalents. You can edit content on the fly, adding things like stickers, filters, and music to your streams, meaning you’re effectively creating real-time content for your channel.
You may be wondering how – or why – you can go live on TikTok. If you’re scratching your head as to how this might be possible for you, look no further. Here’s our handy guide on what you need in order to go live on TikTok, as well as the kind of content you should think about creating once you’re up and running.
What do you need to go live on TikTok?
In order to even think about going live on TikTok, you must fulfil a couple of requirements. Although the minimum age for having a TikTok account in general is 13, the restriction for live streaming is a little higher; you’ll need to be 16 to live stream, in accordance with the app’s guidelines. This is the same as the requirement added back in April 2020 for direct messaging.
As well as the age requirement, you’ll also need a minimum of 1000 followers to go live on TikTok. Do not despair – there are plenty of ways to reach that hallowed number. There are many services, such as FreeTikFollowers, that will help you to get lots of free TikTok followers for your account, thus allowing you to go live without needing to worry about the endless grind many users go through. It is worth considering a service like this if you simply want to reach the minimum number of followers needed to get your first live stream going.
How do I go live on TikTok?
Once you’ve met the minimum requirements for going live on TikTok, the process really couldn’t be simpler. All you need to do is head over to the same TikTok window you’d use to create content. Next to the Record button, you should see another button marked “Live”. Tap that, and you’ll be prompted to name your new live stream. Make sure to give it a snappy title people will be able to remember! After creating a title, that’s it – you’re live now. We told you it couldn’t be easier!
If you don’t see the option to go live, it’s probably because you either don’t have enough followers (you need 1000 or more, as we stated earlier) or because you don’t meet the minimum age requirements. Unfortunately, as it stands, there’s no way to bypass these restrictions by asking for a parent or guardian’s permission. If these restrictions aren’t met, then the live stream option simply won’t appear on the TikTok content creation screen.
Tips for going live on TikTok
Okay, so you’ve mastered the process of going live. However, that’s not all there is to streaming yourself on TikTok. You also need to create memorable, compelling, and engaging streams that will show off the best of you and your personality. Streaming is just like creating standard TikTok content – if you don’t stand out amidst the competition, you’ll fade into the noise. Here are some of our tips on how you can make your streams unforgettable.
Keep it short
The golden rule of most TikTok content is to keep it short (recent developments notwithstanding), and that applies to live streaming as well. In the world of marketing, it’s generally advised to keep things brief. That way, you’re not asking too much of people’s attention spans.
The same is true of TikTok; while your live stream shouldn’t be too short, so as to make sure people have a reason to tune in, it shouldn’t be long enough that newcomers at the 20-25 minute mark don’t have a clue what’s going on. It’s also very difficult to be consistently entertaining during a live stream for a long period of time!
Stream at peak times
Depending on where you live, the best time for live streaming will be different, especially during the pandemic. However, it’s often best to aim for times when your audience has lots of free time with which to view your live stream.
Generally, the best times to post on TikTok vary from day to day, but they’re often early morning or evening, as well as lunchtime. It’s important to do some research to determine when the best time to start streaming is and to aim to stream at that time to as much of an extent as you possibly can.
Nobody wants to watch a boring live stream, right? You certainly wouldn’t want to view a stream if it wasn’t interesting. Try to keep things as compelling as you can.
That means not meandering or repeating yourself, and it means trying to emphasise things your audience will find interesting. If you’re filming a dance tutorial, keep your live stream brisk and don’t linger too long on certain moves or steps. Playing guitar or piano? Take requests from your audience and never play the same song twice.
Talk to your viewers
TikTok offers the functionality to talk to people who are watching your live stream and respond to them in real time. It’s very important to make sure you do this, because as with everything related to social media, engagement is critical.
Keeping your viewers interested in your stream means talking to them as you stream, because then they’ll feel like you’re interested in their responses and it won’t simply feel like a much longer piece of TikTok content.