TikTok recently launched a new creative toolset called TikTok Effect Studio, currently in private beta testing, which will allow its own developer community to build AR effects for TikTok’s short-form video app. On a new website titled “Effect House,” TikTok asks interested developers to sign up for early access to Effect Studio.
the launch of an AR toolset would make TikTok more competitive with industry rivals, who today rely on creative communities to expand their apps’ feature sets with new features and experiences. Snap, for example, launched a $3.5 million fund last year directed toward Snapchat AR Lens creation. Meanwhile, at Facebook’s F8 developer conference in June, the company announced it had grown its Spark AR platform to over 600,000 creators across 190 countries, making it the largest mobile AR platform worldwide.
TikTok, too, has been increasing its investment in developer tools over the past couple of years. However, its focus as of late has been on toolkits aimed at third-party developers who want to integrate more closely with TikTok in their own apps. Today, TikTok’s developer website provides access to tools that allow app makers to add TikTok features to their apps like user authentication flows, sound sharing and others that allow users to publish videos from a third-party editing app out to TikTok.