Aside from Zoom, TikTok is probably the other app that kept people sane during the pandemic. Whether you’re a new content creator that started exploring the world of short-form videos or you just like watching the funny stuff, the videos there certainly took our minds off COVID even for just a little bit. Now you’ll be able to watch the videos on your Android TV-powered larger screens if you just want to mindlessly scroll through the millions of videos available on the platform.
TikTok for Android TV started appearing on the Google Play Store, but apparently it was an early release and is not available yet for all territories. This app works just like the regular app that you have on your mobile device except that you’re watching it on your TV screen. You have a feed where you see the videos of the content creators you follow as well as videos TikTok thinks you may like based on the things you watch, like, and share. You have all kinds of videos like comedy, gaming, DIY, food, sports, memes, pets, etc.
Since most of the videos on the platform are shot vertically, that’s what you will see on your screen with details like title, category, etc off to the side. There doesn’t seem to be much else you can do on this version of the app aside from watch. You can log in to your TikTok account to see your feed but if you choose not to log in, you will get curated videos from twelve of the most popular kinds of content on the platform.
Having a mobile-first platform venture out into TV screens may seem like a strange move but they have seen that a lot of people enjoy watching TikTok videos together. The ability to watch it on a bigger screen together adds a whole new shared experience to fans of the app who are sheltering in one place together. It may also be a hint at their advertising ambitions some observers are saying as the app seeks to expand their reach, data, and demographics.
WIRED reports that the TikTok for Android TV app is officially launching on smart TVs in France, Germany, and the UK first. The app is available on Android TVs made by Sony, Hisense, TCL, Skyworth, Sharp, Philips, Xiaomi, Panasonic, and Toshiba. Given its ongoing issues in the U.S., it makes sense why it doesn’t seem to be available there yet.