Goodbye TikTok, Hello Triller?

TikTok, the most popular app of the year, is currently under pressure. The threat of a potential TikTok ban has been circulating in the US for weeks, and has already been imposed in India. Of course, opportunity is a ladder that the competition is always looking to climb, and Triller has TikTok’s crown in its sights. In the Apple Store, the app has already knocked TikTok off the throne in 85 countries.

Triller had a major coup last week when Donald Trump joined the platform and amassed 11,000 followers in 2 days. The American app, founded by Mike Lu and co-owner Ryan Kavanaugh (who has also produced films such as ‘The Social Network’ and ‘Mamma Mia’) has been around since 2015, but only started to boom after the announcement of the possible US TikTok ban.

In the last month alone, the number of users has grown by more than 35 million. To date, the app has been downloaded 250 million times and has 65 million active users. For comparison: last year the app had only 13 million monthly active users. Nevertheless, despite the rapid growth, TikTok still dwarfs its rival. It recently announced that as of July 2020 it has 689 million global monthly active users, making TikTok more than 10x larger than Triller. However, Triller secured the cooperation with major music labels such as Sony Music Entertainment and also brought on board four members of the well-known TikToker Sway House with a total following of 50 million. These creators now encourage their audience to switch to Triller on Instagram. For example: Noah Beck and Josh Richards can now present a following of over one million on Triller!

As with TikTok, Triller focuses on videos with background music. In comparison with TikTok, the production of videos is actually much easier with Triller. Thanks to AI, the biometric movements of uploaded clips are analysed and cut to a video for the content creator to match the beat. On Triller, AI’s focus is on content production rather than the feed personalisation found on TikTok. To the Triller user, the feeds are divided into three different pages: the videos with the most likes are played on the social feed. On the subscription feed you will find all the videos of subscribed Creators and on the music feed the most popular new audio background music is displayed. Triller has a strong focus on the music industry, so you have the possibility to use whole songs from Apple Music or Spotify for your content instead of the 15-second clips that TikTok offers.

Although Triller is currently showing enormous growth and some well-known American (former) TikTokers have switched to the competition, it is still an open question as to whether Triller can really overtake TikTok in the long term. Triller would certainly have a mountain to climb to achieve this. Whether TikTok will even be abolished in the US is also an open question, with TikTok announcing it will take legal action against the attempt to ban it. The battle for user attention with entertaining content is entering the next round, and there is still everything to play for.