Just ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States, TikTok is expanding its footprint into the living room. The company launched its TV app in North America earlier this month in partnership with Amazon Fire TV. Today, TikTok is deployment its TV app to more TV platforms in North America, including Google TV and other Android TV OS devices, and select LG Smart TVs and Samsung Smart TVs.
The TikTok TV app redesigns the popular short video app for the big screen.
Like its mobile counterpart, the app offers access to a user’s “For You” and “Following” feeds, when logged in, as well as a “Discover” page featuring some of the service’s most popular content. , including categories such as comedy, games, food, travel, sports, and animals, among others. But unlike mobile, where users have to swipe vertically to navigate through available videos, TikTok TV includes an autoplay feature that serves up a continuous stream without interruptions.
To accommodate vertical videos on the larger TV screen, the app displays a darker version of the video in the background to make the experience more visually interesting, instead of just using black bars to fill the screen. screen space.
Before today, the company had offered a TikTok TV app for Google TV and Android TV in the UK, France and Germany, but had yet to bring this version of the app to users in the US and Canada. Additionally, TikTok launched its TV app on Samsung TVs in the UK last year. samsung said he would deploy the application to most of its 2021 smart TVs in the US this year.
TikTok also says the new TV app will host 2018-2021 LG Smart TV models running webOS 4.0 to webOS 6.0.
The expansion could put TikTok in more direct competition with rival YouTube for consumer attention.
Today, Google’s video application is already very present in the living room, where now over 100 million US users watch YouTube and YouTube TV on their big screens. Additionally, third parties eMarketer research found that more than half of US YouTube viewers, or 113.1 million people, now watch through a connected TV device, according to a report published in October 2021.
However, many of these users may not be tuned for short-form content. The company last year noted watch time for YouTube content over 30 minutes increased by more than 90% over a 12-month period. This could indicate viewers’ interest in longer-form video content as compared to mobile users. With plans for its TV app underway, this may also have been a factor in TikTok’s decision to extend its maximum video length to three minutes earlier this year.
TikTok, in its announcement, boasted that it had over a billion monthly users — but of course that includes many markets that don’t yet have access to the TikTok TV app.
The new TV app will be rolling out starting today on supported platforms.