Video content is the king of the Internet, and if you’re reading this article, you know it. TikTok, Instagram Reels, and Snapchat allow people to share their creativity and lives through videos when the world is getting a little tired of long posts.

Consumer interaction with animated content has become the new touchpoint that helps build long-lasting and trusting relationships with customers and increase conversions.

But how does a product company distant from IT or a startup create a short video app? And what are the possible pitfalls? Let’s find out. 

Short Video Apps Boom

How long does it take from the launch for a short video app to be trendy? It took TikTok only five years to be installed on phones of 60% of the world’s population and be downloaded more than three billion times. 

A social media market was fully set up a couple of years ago. We had Instagram and Snapchat for sharing pictures and short videos, YouTube for watching long videos, Facebook for connecting with friends and building a community, and Twitter for expressing short ideas.

Suddenly, TikTok burst into the digital world and disrupted the whole industry. It became a trendsetter, and we see the results today. Meta re-imagined its strategy and had to adapt to new realities, offering the Reels on Instagram and Facebook, and YouTube added Shorts. 

The consumption of video content doubles annually. No wonder startups and existing companies want to leverage animated content and high customer engagement and create TikTok-like apps. This market is expected to grow by 10.2% by 2030. But how to make a short video app from scratch, and is it worth it? 

How To Develop A Short Video App?

A short video app resembles a tricky dessert. The outside of its UI/UX design looks simple and minimalistic, with basic logic and widespread social media features.

The inside, however, hides several layers of sophisticated technology, a smart algorithm, and months of mobile app development. So what steps should you take when you plan to develop a short video app like TikTok?

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Research The Market And Competitors

Start with market research. Determine what problem your future app will solve and how it will benefit potential users. Then research your competitors, investigate their pros and cons, and note what customer problems they solve. The results will be useful in developing the main and additional features. 

Define The Target Audience

The features and interface of your app will vary depending on the audience. Let’s say you decide to make a TikTok-like app for retired housewives to share videos about their household secrets and recipes. It will differ from an app for generation Alpha, won’t it? 

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Think About The Design 

UI/UX design is what hooks users and can make an app go viral. The solution’s success depends on how it welcomes users, what habits it creates, and how it improves their lives.

Get A Team

How can you make an app without a great team of tech experts? We recommend outsourcing mobile app development rather than hiring in-house specialists: this will save you time and money. A full-service team doesn’t need any additional instruction.

It only takes one or two meetings to learn about the project and start building the app. We also advise cutting development time and costs even more, using off-the-shelf SDK solutions. For example, Banuba offers a Video Editor SDK for both mobile platforms.

Your team will just need to write the basic non-video related features of the app, and the ready-made solution will make your program TikTok-like with augmented reality, smart filters, video effects, and more. You can get a free trial on the company site.

Typically, face tracking and face AR development have the highest price tag. The tech experts and 3D designers have high rates, and the timeline can exceed a year or even more.

In a fast-paced digital environment with shifting trends and mushrooming startups, your idea might be outdated by the time you finally release it. 

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Test And Debug

Before uploading the app to the marketplaces and officially launching it, you must perform quality testing and debug it. The first impression is vital, so it’s better not to skip this part. 

Extend Features

As a rule, most companies launch MVPs and add new filters, features, and other perks later to help retain the audience. Unfortunately, developers often focus on fixing bugs and testing instead of introducing new features. Avoid this pattern and release updates regularly to cut the retention rate. 

How Much Does It Cost To Build A Short Video App?

In general, developing an MVP of a mobile app like TikTok from scratch will take about seven months and cost about 124 thousand dollars. The price includes everything the app will need: from the idea to the final release.

However, this is an approximation, as the final quote will depend on feature set, developer rates, number of unexpected changes, and so on. Using an off-the-shelf SDK will significantly reduce both time and costs. 

Short video app development can be a sprint rather than a marathon if you leverage SDKs and hire a ready-to-go team. It’s a perfect option to grab a market share in a fast-growing industry.