As it eyes the next stage of expansion, TikTok is looking to refine its live-stream offering, with a set of new additions to provide more control for live broadcasters, as well as new discovery tools to better highlight in-progress live-stream content.
The main focus of these new updates is safety, and providing means for broadcasters to avoid unwanted comments or interactions.
First off, TikTok is adding a new option which will enable broadcasters to assign 'Live moderators', being a person, or people, that can help them manage their streams.
As you can see here, Live Moderators enables you to add in other users who can then manage your comments and commenting functions during a stream.
That could be a big help for those looking to use their streams for professional purpose, with the capacity to more easily shut down unwanted interactions, while also helping to respond to relevant comments, and maximize engagement.
Adding further assistance on the former, TikTok is also rolling out keyword filters for live-stream comments.
As explained by TikTok:
"In the settings tab of the LIVE launch screen, hosts can turn off comments or add up to 200 terms into the keyword filter to limit those comments in the chat. Words can be added to the list throughout the live-stream by hosts and the person helping them."
That, again, provides more capacity to better manage your broadcast, and ensure that your comment stream doesn't veer off-track and into more offensive areas. Which, as anyone who's streamed, or even watched streams regularly will know, does happen pretty often.
TikTok's also expanding its thoughtful comment reminders to live-streams, which could help to stop commenters from making potentially offensive remarks.
TikTok added its thoughtful comment reminders to the main app back in March, and the expansion to live-streams will hopefully give more pause for thought in the same process within video streams.
TikTok's also rolling out a new option that will enable streamers to temporarily mute viewers or remove unkind or harmful comments, which will be available both to hosts and assigned moderators in the coming months.
In combination, these new tools will provide a lot more capacity to manage interactions within live-streams in the app, and help to keep things civil and welcoming - which, again, will be important considerations for potential brand and influencer partnerships.
In addition to this, TikTok is also looking to improve the discovery options for Live videos within the app, with top, in-progress broadcasts to be displayed on For You and Following pages.
"Some of the top LIVE categories include Chat (Q&A), Gaming, Talents, Fashion, and Daily Life, and with updated access points to the LIVE page, Top and Recommended LIVE videos will soon be closer than ever."
Live-streams are set to play a key role in TikTok's next stage, with the platform already experimenting with live-stream shopping options, which will provide more capacity for brands and influencers to monetize their TikTok following. By improving its moderation and discovery tools, TikTok will then be able to welcome more brand partners into this experience - which is part of its broader shift into eCommerce and in-stream shopping, which will ideally expand the app beyond being a viral hit, and into a more sustainable, revenue generation machine that has the enduring capacity to match it with the bigger players in the space.
Because if creators can't make money on TikTok, they'll go elsewhere, taking their audience with them. As such, these new tools all play a part in TikTok's evolution, as it looks for ways to convert its massive audience appeal into a more solidified business offering.