How To Go Live on TikTok

person holding camera with skateboard in front of orange background with TikTok overlay Passionfruit Remix
Photo credit: garetsworkshop/Shutterstock, Remix by: Caterina Cox

TikTok has become one of the most popular social media platforms in the world, with millions of users tuning in to watch and create short-form videos every day. But TikTok, like many similar video-based platforms, also offers qualified users the opportunity to broadcast live to an audience. In this article, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about why creators should consider live streaming, what you need to get started, and how to go live on TikTok.

What is TikTok live?

TikTok live is a feature on the popular social media app that allows users to broadcast real-time videos to their followers. With TikTok live, creators can engage audiences in a more casual and immediate way than with regular video uploads, keeping things fresh and fun.

Who can live stream on TikTok?

In order to go live on TikTok, a user has to meet certain requirements, including the following:

  • You must be at least 18 years old
  • You must be located in a part of the world that allows TikTok
  • Your account must be in good standing

It’s also important to note that TikTok live is available via the app on your phone, but not directly from the website. If you would like to live stream on TikTok from your computer, you’ll have to look into third-party streaming software.

How many followers do you need for TikTok live?

One of the other requirements for going live on TikTok is that your account must have a minimum of 1000 followers. However, some users have reported success using a workaround to go live with fewer followers, which we will walk you through later on in this article.

What are the benefits of going live on TikTok?

Going live on TikTok has tons of additional benefits that creators may not get with posting regular short-form content. Some of the benefits of live streaming include:

1) Connecting with followers in real-time.

During a live stream, viewers can leave comments, ask questions, and send gifts, creating a more interactive experience than pre-recorded videos and allowing creators the chance to build a stronger relationship with fans who support your content.

2) Reaching a larger audience.

Live streams on TikTok are discoverable, which means that they can be seen by anyone on the app, not just your followers. This gives you the opportunity to reach a larger audience and attract new followers to your account, which can be particularly useful for newer creators who aren’t regularly having videos hit the For You Page just yet.

3) Monetization opportunities.

TikTok offers fans the ability to send creators virtual gifts during live streams. The more gifts you receive, the more Diamonds you get from TikTok, which you can then trade for actual money. Fans are automatically incentivized to send gifts because it gives them the chance to be noticed by their favorite creators during the stream, but be sure to check out the official rules surrounding gifting before going live, too.

Things to consider before going live

Any content creator knows the importance of having some sort of plan in place before recording a video, and while live streaming offers the opportunity for a lot more spontaneity and natural engagement with your audience and any guests, it’s still helpful to consider a few things ahead of going live.

1) What is your TikTok live about?

Do you have a big announcement to make? Are you doing a Q&A with your followers? Are you inviting a guest on to chat with you about a specific topic? Are you reacting to an episode of TV or a new album that just dropped? You don’t have to have a single, unified reason for going live, but if you do, it will tell your audience what they’re in for, decrease the likelihood of you losing steam trying to come up with things to talk about next, and allow you to come up with ideas for how to actively engage your audience.

2) When do you want to go live, and for how long?

Scheduling a live event at a certain time means your existing fanbase will be prepared and available to hop in. If you opt to do this, try to take into consideration your demographic and when they might have the free time to watch TikTok, and make sure to promote your plan to go live to them ahead of time.

3) How’s your setup?

No one expects a TikTok live to be perfectly lit or free of all outside sound, but you probably want to make sure you have access to a location with decent lighting and limited ambient noise. Also make sure you have any equipment you may want to use set up or easily accessible ahead of time, and that your internet is strong enough to handle your broadcast.

How to go live on TikTok

Step 1: Open the TikTok app on your phone and click the “+” sign at the bottom of the app.

Step 2: Scroll through the options and choose “LIVE.” If you don’t see “LIVE” listed, your account may not meet all the requirements, and you’ll need to get in touch with support (detailed in a later section).

Step 3: Choose a title and a photo for your live stream. Go with something catchy that gives some insight into the topic of your live to help draw in your existing audience as well as new people who might be scrolling through looking for something to watch.

Step 4: Tap to “Go LIVE.” At this point, a countdown clock will give you three seconds for any last-minute preparation, and then you’ll be live!

Step 5 (optional): From here, you can access camera filters and effects throughout the course of your broadcasting. You can also invite qualified guests to join your live.

How to join someone else’s TikTok live

In addition to going live yourself, or inviting guests to join you on your TikTok live, qualified creators also have the ability to join someone’s live on TikTok

Most likely, you’ll want to clear this with another creator ahead of time, and they will simply invite you to join their live. In that scenario, you’ll receive a notification letting you know you have 20 seconds to accept their invitation. From there, you will be able to join with video or just audio, and will be given the chance to preview your appearance before tapping “Go LIVE.”

You can also request to be added to an existing live stream by navigating to the live you would like to join and selecting the “Multi-guest” option at the bottom of the screen. Again, you will be allowed to preview audio and/or video before confirming your request, which the TikToker hosting the live will then either accept or deny.

How to go live on TikTok without 1000 followers

For those who don’t have 1000 followers on TikTok and aren’t seeing the live options discussed throughout this article, you can try getting in touch with support to allow you to go live anyway. Some people have reported success with this method, which is discussed in more detail here

Essentially, you will choose “Report a problem” under “Settings and privacy” in the app, look for the topic on “How to start a LIVE,” tap the option that says your problem is not resolved, and contact support directly with a compelling reason as to why you should be given access to TikTok live.

How to repost on TikTok

TikTok rolled out the ability for users to share other creators’ videos with their followers in 2022, the idea being it allows you to directly deliver content you find engaging or informative to your followers without having to do a duet or stitch. Check out our step-by-step guide for reposting videos on TikTok here.

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