TikTok is expanding its LIVE platform, which allows creators to livestream and respond to viewer comments and questions.
While the COVID-19 pandemic might have separated people physically, TikTok on Tuesday launched tools to join them virtually.
The features — ranging from the ability to go live with co-hosts and hold Q&As to improving keyword filters — make the platform more competitive with platforms like Instagram Live.
Go LIVE Together — one of the more interesting features — gives the host the ability to add another person from a different location.
Hosts also can turn off comments or add up to 200 terms in the keyword filter to limit those comments in the chat.
Words can be added to the list throughout the livestream by hosts and the person helping them.
Since discovery is at the heart of the TikTok experience, the company will soon roll out ways to search and tune in to LIVE videos from the For You Feed and Following pages.
Some of the top LIVE categories include a question-and-answer Chat, Gaming, Talents, Fashion, and Daily Life.
Top recommendations also are available, which provides an opportunity to turn the feature into a sponsorship, although nothing has been announced at this time.
In the coming weeks, TikTok also plans to introduce a way for hosts, and the person helping manage their LIVE event, to temporarily mute viewers or delete negative, offensive or harmful comments.
This is one way that company execs believe they can maintain a supportive and authentic community.
There are safeguards and policies in place for LIVE, including requiring account holders to be 16 years or older to host a livestream.