TikTok hopes new tools will create kinder, gentler live streams

It should also be easier to find streams.


TikTok wants to encourage more livestreams, and that now includes creating a friendlier environment for the hosts. The social video giant is rolling out a string of new features that include tools to promote kindness. For a start, TikTok will now pop up an alert if you're about to post a comment the company deems "potentially unkind or harmful." You can press forward if you're determined, but TikTok clearly hopes you'll reconsider any personal attacks.

Accordingly, the hosts will have more power as well. You can assign a trusted moderator before you start a stream, letting you focus on the show instead of blocking and muting trolls. You can now add up to 200 entries to the keyword filter. In the "coming weeks," you'll also have ways for both hosts and viewers to both delete comments and temporarily mute viewers. Someone who committed a minor offense can have a shot at redemption, in other words.

There's also a focus on improved discovery. An addition rolling out "soon" will improve your ability to find livestreams from the For You and Following pages, not to mention provider quicker access to top and recommended live videos. TikTok also recently launched a scheduling tool for hosts, picture-in-picture viewing and a "Go Live Together" feature that lets two people start broadcasting at the same time.

The focus on livestreams doesn't come as a shock. TikTok noted that the number of people hosting and watching live video had "doubled" over the past year, and some of its biggest events have involved livestreams. The Weeknd played a concert through the platform, for instance. While looping videos remain TikTok's core, the company is more than a little eager to challenge Facebook, Instagram and other services where live video is also growing in popularity.