If you’re just starting to explore TikTok and want to do a live video (as opposed to the usual recorded TikTok video), I’m afraid I have bad news for you.
You can’t – at least not yet.
Unlike Facebook / Instagram, which allows anyone to create a live video, TikTok only makes live videos available if you are 16 or older and have over 1,000 followers. Once you qualify, however, it’s a relatively straightforward process.
But before you start a live broadcast, here’s a little tip on how to find one. Note that right now you can only see live feeds from the people you follow, so if you really like live broadcasts, the best thing to do is follow a group of people.
To find live video
- Tap the Inbox icon at the bottom of the screen
- Look for the entry that begins with “TikTok: LIVE now:” If there is a live stream running, you will see it listed here. Otherwise, if you tap the entry, you will see a list of past live broadcasts.
To gift to a favorite designer
Live videos offer one of the few ways that people can show their appreciation for their favorite TikTok personalities in a convenient way. TikTok calls it Live Gifting, and while the process is a bit complicated, it’s actually a way to toss a coin at your TikToker (but only if you’re at least 18).
- First of all, you need to buy virtual coins. Navigate to your profile page (by tapping on the “Me” icon in the lower right corner).
- Tap the three lines in the upper right corner to go to “Settings & Privacy”.
- Select “Balance”> “Reload”.
- Select the number of pieces you wish to purchase. For example, you can buy 70 coins for 99 cents.
- Select your payment method (via Google Pay, Apple Pay, credit card, etc.).
Now when you watch a live TikTok video and like what you see, you can tap the gift icon at the bottom of the screen to select the type of virtual gift you want to send. (This only works for live broadcasts, not for recorded content.) Each giveaway has a different value.
What does the creator get? Well, besides the good feelings of the virtual gift that just jumped onto the screen, the creator is getting some hard cash – although the amount is not really clear. According to his description, TikTok takes your virtual gift and turns it into what he calls diamonds. The creator can then exchange these diamonds for real money. How? Says TikTok, “The applicable monetary compensation will be calculated by us based on various factors, including the number of Diamonds a user has accumulated.”
Want to participate in this? Well, if you’re over 16 and have 1,000 or more subscribers, here’s how to start a live broadcast on TikTok:
How to go live
- Tap the plus sign at the bottom of the screen (the same as you always do to start a new video).
- Under the record button, where it usually says “Camera” and “Models”, you will also have a new label that says “Live”. Tap on it.
- At the top of the screen, you can now add a description and a cover photo.
- Press the big “Go Live” button.
And there you are !
According to TikTok, if you tap the three dots during your broadcast, you can change several visual settings and filter comments. (And since you’re live, you can reply to comments while on the air as well.) You can also add up to 20 moderators if things start to get loaded.
How to check your diamonds
If you want to see how many freebies you received during your live stream, you just need to go to the same place where you would buy virtual coins:
- Tap the three lines in the upper right corner to go to “Settings & Privacy”> “Balance”.
- Tap “LIVE Gifts” to see how many diamonds you received today, how many you have in total, and how much real money is in your balance. You can withdraw money by pressing the “Withdraw” button at the bottom of the screen. Tap the icon in the upper right corner to see your total winnings and how much you have withdrawn.
If you are serious about your TikTok streams then going live is a great way to interact with your fans and friends and encourage them to watch your recorded videos. And who knows? You may end up with a few virtual gifts to boot.