With TikTok being banned in India and still on the chopping block in the United States, the app might see a major decline in usage. But if you’re a TikTok influencer who uses the app to connect with your followers and earn an income, what are you supposed to do? For some, Triller may fill the void.
What Is Triller?
Triller is a short-form video content app like TikTok with some big differences. Triller is primarily a music video app that lets creators choose a song snippet and record a video to it. It’s been around longer than TikTok (since July 2015) and was marketed as an app that “democratizes the music video creation process,” letting users create their own high-quality music videos to share elsewhere. Triller then started moving away from being a video-making app to being a social media platform on its own by adding a feed (like TikTok’s For You page) so users could find and follow other users and watch videos.
What Is Triller? Here's the Triller Guide You've Been Waiting For:
Wait… Isn’t Triller Just Like TikTok?
Well, it is and it isn’t.
Triller and TikTok are both short-form video content social media platforms that let users create short videos that show up in a feed. Apart from that, though, the apps are somewhat different.
For starters, Triller doesn’t have the manual, in-app editing tools that TikTok offers. Triller, instead, uses an AI-based video editing tool that automatically adds effects like overlays, fast or slow motion, and basic text to videos. While Triller videos tend to have a more polished look than TikTok’s videos, the reason that a lot of TikTok’s videos don’t look like they have much in the way of production value is that the creators themselves are able to manually edit their videos, allowing for much more control.
Another key difference between Triller and TikTok is the friendliness with the music industry. Triller users can listen to full tracks on the app; with TikTok, only 15 seconds of a track will be included. TikTok users can also only use the sounds that are on the app whereas Triller users can add music from the app or their own Apple Music or Spotify libraries. While TikTok has extensive agreements with most large and independent labels, it definitely doesn’t cover all distributors.
There’s also a difference in the way each app shows off content. While TikTok uses AI to show users content based on the content they engage with and watch consistently, Triller tends to promote newer or more popular videos on its feed, no matter what you’ve liked or viewed on the platform. This means that Triller’s Discover page is filled with promoted campaigns, top videos, leaderboards, and videos broken down by genre. TikTok, on the other hand, shows top videos and trending hashtags that are in line with users’ watch history. Triller also seems to favor hip hop and EDM and most of the challenge videos that make it to Triller’s Discover page are from hip hop artists. TikTok doesn’t seem to favor a particular genre.
Triller is owned by Proxima Media, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group, and Universal Music Group with other investors like Snoop Dog, Kendrick Lamar, Lil Wayne, and The Weeknd.
Despite the star-studded roster, Triller still trails TikTok in terms of downloads and active users. They don’t seem to be worried about it, though, as they claim to not consider TikTok to be a direct competitor since Triller’s userbase is older than the predominantly Gen Z userbase on TikTok. Of course, this could all change with a US ban on TikTok.
Make no mistake, however, Triller has its eyes on TikTok. The app has already taken steps to woo TikTok’s Sway House (a collaborative house of TikTok creators ages 18–21 years old) away from TikTok with a new partnership. And, Triller has launched a copyright infringement lawsuit against TikTok, too. Add into that the fact that collaboration between Triller and Snapchat in early 2020 gave Triller a way to reach Snapchat’s 250 million daily active users, and you can see from their actions that they might not be entirely honest about their competition with TikTok.
How Does Triller Work?
The basic usage, functionality, and UI (user interface) of Triller is similar to TikTok, so if you’ve spent any amount of time on TikTok, Triller should be easy to learn. You can follow other Triller creators, like and comment on videos, search for videos to watch, and record and share videos of your own. Just like TikTok, you don’t need to have a Triller account to watch content on the platform.
Let’s take a closer look at Triller’s functionality.
Open Triller and you’re greeted by the Triller Home page. This is the video feed and it’s broken down into three tabs: Following, Music, and Social. The Music and Social tabs are similar to TikTok’s For You page. You can use them to find trending videos from other users. All videos on Triller display vertically and in full screen. To move through the videos, just swipe up or down.
There’s no way to get to the Home screen while you’re scrolling through videos; the navigation menu across the bottom of the Triller screen includes navigation to other pages in the app but leaves out the Home screen. To get back to it, you need to close pages.
On the navigation bar, there’s a music note symbol that will take you to the Discover page. Here, you can find and search for music. Once you’ve found a song you like, you can play it, use it in your own Triller video, or check out other top videos that feature the song. Triller has licensing partnerships with Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, and Warner Music Group, so chances are you’ll find whatever popular song you’re looking for.
You’ll also see a magnifying glass symbol on that navigation bar. Tapping on this symbol will take you to Triller’s search function. You’ll see a search bar at the top of the screen but also a leaderboard, featured videos, top videos, and recommended videos. Just tap on the video you want to watch and you’ll be able to watch the video, engage with it, or swipe to move onto other Triller videos.
The plus symbol on the navigation bar is where you’ll be able to record, upload, and share your Triller videos. You’ll have the option to create a social video or music video. Social videos will let you start instantly recording but for music videos, you have to start by choosing a song. With both social and music videos, you can add filters, adjust the video speed, user a timer, zoom in, or record different takes. You’ll be able to check out a video preview before you post, as well as adding a video description, choosing a category for your video, adding location info, or setting your video to private.
On the navigation bar, you’ll also see a bell symbol. This is the Activity screen that includes two sections: You and Following. The You section shows reactions to your videos and comments. To see activity from the people you follow, you’ll check the Following section. When you first join Triller, your Activity screen will be just as empty as the one above.
The person symbol on the navigation bar is your Profile screen. The Profile screen will show your public profile, who you follow, and who is following you. From here, you can edit your profile, change your profile photo, update your name, change your username, and more. The Profile screen also shows you your Triller drafts (private and visible only to you). When another Triller user checks out your profile, they’ll see your public videos and follower information.
To access your Triller settings, go to Profile from the navigation bar, and tap the Settings icon in the top corner of the Profile page. Here, you can change your account settings, privacy settings, and set video preferences like resolution and more.
How to Use Triller
To use Triller, stary by downloading the app from Google Play or the App Store. Once the app is installed on your phone, create a new account on the platform. During account setup, you can choose the video creation options you want, take a look at the artists and song titles at your disposal, and choose the one you want. Next, choose the point in the song you want your video to start and record your video. Once you’re done recording, edit your video and add filters. Now you’re ready to publish your video to Triller or download the video to upload to other social media platforms.
You can also collaborate with other Triller creators to combine video clips into a single video. Just share your clips with friends and then edit the clips together.
When you’re setting up your Triller account, you have the option to set it up as a user or a creator. Users can create and share videos and scroll through other users’ profiles to see what they’ve come up with. With a creator account, you can set up crowdfunding features to raise money for a cause—or for yourself. You raise funds by collecting Gold that can be converted into Gems. These Gems are used to keep track of how much money you’ve raised. All Triller users are able to buy Gold that they can donate to creators (like TikTok’s Coins and Gifts) but you have to have a creator account to raise money on the platform.
Ready to create content on Triller? Here’s a step-by-step guide:
Step 1. Open Triller and Tap the Plus Symbol
Start by opening up Triller and tapping on the Plus symbol:
Step 2. Choose the Song You Want to Use
You’ll have the option to create a music video or a social post. For this short tutorial, we’re going to do a music video:
Now, choose the song you want to use in your video. You’ll be able to choose from a list of popular songs:
Step 3. Choose the Part of the Song You Want to Include
After you’ve found the song you want, choose the part of the song you want to feature in your video:
Step 4. Record Your Video Takes
Now that you’ve chosen your audio clip, tap Film in the upper right corner of the screen to record different video takes or upload a video from your device:
Step 5. Edit and Publish Your Video
After you’ve recorded all the takes you want and are ready to post, tap Shuffle in the top right corner of your screen:
From here, you’ll be able to edit your video. When you’re done, tap Finish in the top right corner of the screen:
Next, add your video description, choose the category you want, add a location, or set your video to private. Then, tap Post & Save:
Triller and Influencers
Triller gives influencers another way to show off their brand through short-form video content. And, with the crowdfunding feature, Triller makes it easy for influencers to monetize their content. Triller creators can establish goals and connect with followers, brands, and even music labels to reach funding goals.
Marketing on Triller
Triller gives brands a platform to increase exposure and get a greater share of voice on social media. Like TikTok, it’s also a fun way for influencers and brands to promote their products and influencer merch in their video content. Through Triller Challenges, Triller influencers and brands can create and run challenges tracked via hashtag, even awarding prizes for the best submissions. When done correctly, Triller Challengers can get followers engaged, increase brand awareness and brand affinity, and get your brand some user-generated content that can be used throughout your marketing strategy.
Advertising on Triller
Unlike TikTok, Triller doesn’t currently include ads. Instead, Triller focuses on letting creators crowdfund, raising money from followers, partnerships, and advertisers. According to Timothy Armoo, CEO of influencer marketing agency Fanbytes by Brainlabs, “it’s very easy to grow an audience on Triller and you can actually leverage that following to grow elsewhere. We’ve seen great results with people growing a presence on there and then moving over Instagram or Twitter.”
Basically, Triller is taking a hands-off approach to the money side of things, giving Triller influencers and creators the change to use their content to generate revenue with, according to Alex Hamilton, from digital marketing agency Isobar, “a focus on what they stand for and believe in is a winning combination amid a year in which we’ve seen a number of social movements come to the fore.”
Triller: A TikTok Alternative Worth Getting to Know
It’s true that Triller and TikTok are similar. While Triller started off as an app used to create music videos that were then shared elsewhere, it has evolved into a music, vlogging, and social platform with tons of potential for influencers. While we’re not keen on the limited video editing features available on Triller, the app still creates stunning videos that look a lot more professional than most of the content you’ll find on TikTok. However, like all TikTok alternatives, Triller’s success largely depends on how TikTok can weather it’s currently uncertain future.