Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge
TikTok is testing a new piece of desktop streaming software called TikTok Live Studio that lets users broadcast live footage from games and other desktop applications, TechCrunch reports. The software is currently being tested with a small number of users across some Western markets, TikTok says, but its official page on TikTok’s site appears to have been taken down as of publication.
If released, TikTok Live Studio could mark an interesting change for TikTok’s live streaming strategy. Rather than being focused on users streaming directly from mobile devices, it could expand TikTok Live’s focus to include game streaming, bringing it into competition with the likes of Twitch, YouTube Gaming, and Facebook Gaming.
It’s super basic in its current state.
Has both Landscape and Portrait Scenes.
Sources include Game Capture, Mobile Capture, Video Capture, Program Capture, and some text/images. No browser sources, or alerts.
Emojis are limited to the stock ones. pic.twitter.com/oOHwUbSdUF
— Zach Bussey (@zachbussey) December 15, 2021
According to Zach Bussey, who shared screenshots of TikTok Live Studio on Twitter, the software is currently in a barebones state. It reportedly supports streaming in both landscape and portrait, and can draw footage from games, individual programs, mobile devices, and cameras.
It’s previously been possible to live stream from a desktop device to TikTok using third-party software like Streamlabs, but a help page for the feature notes that access is limited and invite-only. There are also tutorials that use third-party services like Loola.tv as a workaround to connect TikTok with streaming programs like OBS. But even these aren’t perfect — a Loola.tv help page notes that “TikTok streaming is currently disabled for most users” as of July this year.
It’s not clear when TikTok might expand its test of Live Studio to more users. But if it becomes widely available, desktop streaming could bring a lot more variety to the platform’s catalog of live content.