TikTok is building its own AR development platform, TikTok Effect Studio.
Both Facebook and Snap provide tools for developers to create augmented reality (AR) experiences and features for their suite of apps. Now TikTok wants to do the same.
The company recently released a new set of creative tools called TikTok Effect Studio and is currently in closed beta testing, which allows its own developer community to create AR effects for short videos in the TikTok app. On a new website called Effect House, TikTok is asking interested developers to apply for early access to Effect Studio.
The form provided includes the developer's name, email address, TikTok account information, company and level of experience in creating augmented reality, and working examples. The website also asks if you are using a Mac or PC (perhaps to decide which desktop platform to prioritize), whether you want to test Effect House for work or personal use.
The project was first seen by social media consultant Matt Navarra on the advice of Sam Schmier.
TikTok confirmed on the website , which launched in early August, but the project itself is still in the early stages of testing in select markets, including the US. Companies cannot specify a time frame in which more of these tools are available. Instead, TikTok describes Effect Studio as an early "experiment", adding that some experiments don't always start.
In addition, other experiments may undergo significant changes between the initial beta phase and the phase that will be released at a later date. However, the release of the AR Toolkit will make TikTok more competitive with industry competitors who today rely on the creative community to expand the app's feature set with new features.
For example, Snap launched a $3.5 million fund last year to build the Snapchat AR lens. Meanwhile, Facebook announced at the F8 developer conference in June that it had expanded the Spark AR platform to more than 600,000 creators in 190 countries, making it the world's largest mobile AR platform.
TikTok has also increased its investment in developer tools over the past few years. More recently, however, the focus has been on tools aimed at third-party developers who want to integrate more tightly with TikTok in their apps.
Today, the TikTok developer website provides access to tools that allow app developers to add TikTok features to their apps, such as user authentication streams, audio sharing, and other features that allow users to publish videos to TikTok from third-party editing apps. do.
However, the new TikTok Effect Studio cannot be used with third-party applications. Instead, it is creating AR experiences (and other creative effects) that will be delivered directly to TikTok users in consumer-facing video apps. We wanted to confirm our broader goals for TikTok Effect Studio, but the company declined to share specific details about the exact tools that could be included, citing the early days of the project.
"We are always thinking of new ways to benefit the community and enrich the TikTok experience," a TikTok spokesperson told . “We are currently experimenting with the TikTok community to give creators additional tools to bring their creative ideas to life,” he added.