Almost every Gen Z teen knows about TikTok, and more than half of them use the app every day. However, Triller is a tad less popular.

Both Triller and TikTok are video-sharing platforms. They differ mainly in how video editing is done and how music is incorporated into videos. When comparing TikTok and Triller, TikTok stands out for its large number of users and a greater number of brands working on the platform.

The rise of TikTok was the rise of the short format video. TikTok has had its share of difficulties on the international stage, but the short format video was an area that was too hot to be not in. The proposed ban of TikTok and the uncertainty in the space led to many new players coming into the space, with heavy hitters like Instagram launching Reels. 

Triller was launched in 2015, a year before TikTok. However, it largely flew under the radar, beyond the spotlight that TikTok enjoyed. As TikTok was hit by uncertainties, Triller began to gain ground. It has enjoyed steady growth, while TikTok has continued to grab the headlines, albeit sometimes for the wrong reasons. 

The pace of growth is, however, not the only way in which TikTok and Triller differ.

Triller has been evolving a model of their own, one that has some stark contrasts to TikTok, and at the same time, is quite similar in many ways. We will explore how TikTok and Triller differ and also how influencer marketing works on these platforms. But first, let us look at some numbers and get to know the platforms a bit better. 


TikTok & Triller: The Origin Story

TikTok’s journey began in 2016 in China and went global in 2017. TikTok raised eyebrows and controversy in equal measure in the US, with threats of a ban looming and US operations being sanctioned to be sold to Oracle and Walmart. Despite all the legal entanglements, TikTok was quite the sensation in social media circles. Its growth continues, it remains available in 200 countries, and it was the most downloaded app in 2020.

TikTok had over 2 billion downloads and, as per the last-known official data, 689 million monthly active users as of January 2021. TikTok is also the 7th largest social media platform globally—we add TikTok’s China avatar Douyin into the mix, the app comes up as the 5th most used social media platform.

Triller, as it appeared in 2015, served a very different purpose. It was an AI-powered video editing tool that helped users create music videos from listed tracks and use them on other platforms. Triller later switched modes and became a social media platform themselves where users could upload their content and engage with their followers. But the biggest difference is the fact that Triller lets users create full-length music videos where users can showcase their creativity from the listed tracks.

Though Triller claims to be on the right side of the issues related to clarity in data privacy policies, they are not really fans of clarity in terms of user numbers. This has been the source of controversy for Triller, with multiple lawsuits open in the US currently. They have also accepted accusations regarding blowing up previously declared official user numbers. As per the available data (which is almost a year old, mind you), Triller has around 250 million downloads. Another official release also talks about 50 million active users a month. There are articles like this that dispute these claims with some data too. 

Investments and valuations also indicate that Triller’s influence is indeed growing. Following the Proxima Media investment in 2019 and another $50 million round in July 2020, Triller has raised $100 million in funding at a valuation of $1.25 billion. These numbers are nowhere near the numbers that TikTok clocks, but the growth is significant. 


Triller Vs. TikTok

Triller’s main rivals include its younger counterpart TikTok. Both apps include video editing and sharing and use music. However, some stark differences between them set the platforms apart. The first difference is that Triller uses an AI-driven editing tool, whereas TikTok favors manual editing. Another noteworthy difference is that Triller uses the full music track for videos while TikTok allows only 60 seconds for videos created directly on the app. Moreover, some claim that Triller favors mainly hip hop and EDM music over other genres. As to TikTok, it has no particular musical niche. This app promotes all kinds of music, creators, publishers and caters to everyone’s tastes.

Triller and TikTok also differ in the way they display content. TikTok uses artificial intelligence to show you content based on your interests and preferences. This ensures that the content you see is relevant and highly personalized. On the other hand, Triller shows the new and most popular videos at the top. Additionally, the reach of the two platforms differs considerably. Presently, Triller is available in only 50 countries, including the United States, France, and the United Kingdom. TikTok, however, is available in 155 countries across the world. Also, TikTok has the greatest number of active users compared to Triller. TikTok has around 800 million to 1 billion MAUs (monthly active users) in 2021, while Triller has a modest 65 million MAUs. TikTok enjoys greater popularity than Triller.


How Are They Different?

While TikTok started with short-format videos of 15 seconds and now allows up to 60-second videos, Triller has moved from being an AI-based video editing app to a short and long format video streaming app. Here are the main differences.

Music Is The Focus On Triller

While TikTok has been open to all types of content and with a limited album of tracks, Triller has focused on building quite an expansive library, though focused mainly on rap, hip-hop, and EDM. It has aligned itself with the artists and works with them to launch their albums and tracks on the platform. Triller also pays the artists more royalties than TikTok. 

Triller has tie-ups with many artists and has been innovative in engaging users while also giving them a platform to be creative. For artists, short video formats, and videos in general, have been a major channel for promotion. Triller is one way to earn more streams and, in turn, more royalties.

This trend is also visible if you look at the celebrities signing up for and investing in Triller. Eminem, CardiB, and Alicia Keys are active users while Kendrick Lamar and Snoop Dogg are investors.

TikTok has also started exploring this space with deals with Belive, UMG, and a couple of other music labels. 

Video Duration

Video duration is another area where Triller is quite different from TikTok. Triller leaves the option of choosing the length to the users. While Triller has also been pushing shorter format options, users can also stream full-length music videos. Triller has partnered with Spotify and Apple Music, allowing users access to tracks listed on these platforms too. 

TikTok has been focusing mainly on the 16 second and 30-second formats. It has expanded its library of music and is reportedly trying out 3-minute videos. This is also an indication that the longer formats still have some relevance in the field and can draw more users. 

Video Editing

Triller’s Video editing is more automated than TikTok’s. While TikTok lets users edit videos as they wish, Triller lets users do multiple takes using the audio. The AI then combines using biometric markers in the song and the video to match the timing.

Triller initially offered this as a standalone service before moving to become a social streaming platform as well. We already spoke about the length of the videos, but the editing itself is a lot different.TikTok’s reliance on user-driven content puts the onus of creating well-edited videos on the user while, on Triller, it is easier to build high-quality videos quickly.

Influencers & Monetization

This is perhaps another area where there is quite a contrast between TikTok and Triller. TikTok is a platform that has always focused on creating influencers and enabling them to scale and monetize their content. Along with this, sponsored campaigns and ads are key to TikTok’s monetization.

Triller takes a different route by bringing in established artists and musicians from the industry who already have influence. These influencers have verified profiles that they use to produce content based on their music while also letting other users create their own versions of the songs.

Triller also gives people the chance to monetize their content and collect donations from other users, but this has been mostly leveraged by the artists, and only up to a limit by general users. Currently, there are no ads in Triller, but there have been branded campaigns that have put Triller in the spotlight. The “Step up to the mic” campaign, Triller TV, and the “Rock the Vote” concert in partnership with Pepsi were major campaigns that allowed new artist creators to work with other artists as well as get themselves noticed.

Triller works closely with artists and gives them the right support when they need it to work with brands and realize opportunities, while TikTok leaves this to the users and focuses on the platform and the product functionality. 


How Can Brands Be Successful On TikTok?

Tiktok has a growing Millennial and Gen Z audience, and brands are taking advantage of this fact. There are a few ways to use TikTok correctly and to promote brand awareness. This includes:

TikTok For Business

TikTok For Business encourages brands to create videos and invent new trends to raise brand awareness. It allows brands to connect with their audience through the platform, helping to maintain customer-seller engagement and boosting ROI. Also, you can run in-feed adverts and sponsor hashtag challenges.

TikTok Creator Marketplace

As a brand, the TikTok Creator Marketplace lets you look for the best-performing video creators to promote your business. This extension of TikTok houses the profile of creators and their viewers to help you find the best audience for your product or service. You can then collaborate with one or more creators to promote your brand.

Creating A Branded Channel

Setting up a branded channel can get you millions of views per video. You can create your own content by incorporating trending audios and filters. This marketing strategy involves zero cost but 100% fun. The best advice is to follow trending hashtags and hop on new trends to reach a maximum number of people.


The Best Marketing Strategy For Triller

Leveraging the popularity of Triller can be done in several ways. The key is to combine different marketing strategies to harness the full potential of your Triller account. First of all, you should create a brand account for your company and complete your profile. Then, all you need to do is create videos using popular music so that your videos come up at the top of the feed. Usually, Triller does not allow advertisements on its platform. To create brand awareness, you must come up with creative solutions. As a marketing strategy, influencer partnerships work wonders. Reaching out to influencers to promote your products or services is a smart move. More so that Triller itself supports those partnerships.

Another way to utilize Triller as a marketing tool is to promote live events such as concerts and sporting events. Exclusive contents always entice users to follow you and engage more with your brand. Hence, collaborating with organizers to host certain events will increase your brand recognition. Moreover, participating in the Triller hashtag challenges is a good alternative to conventional marketing plans. Users will appreciate your brand’s effort in keeping up with popular trends and movements. This way, they are more likely to choose you and refer your brand to others.


What Is Triller Fightclub?

The Triller Fightclub is a “boxing league” produced and hosted by Snoop Dogg. It is the company’s way of trying to bring new and exciting features to the table. The parent company’s main aim behind Fight Club is to deliver similar high-end live events in the future. Its goal is to reach other audiences besides boxing fans. The Fight Club was launched in December 2010 after the boxing match between Mike Tyson and Roy Jones as part of a joint promotion with the Legends Only Leagues. The Tyson/Jones boxing event was broadcasted on Triller under a pay-per-view scheme. Fight Club’s more recent matches follow the same model.

On April 17th, 2021, the fight between Jake Paul and Ben Askren garnered 1.5 million pay-per-views. Fight Club aims to turn the Triller app into a boxing broadcasting platform. This means that Triller now rivals channels such as DAZN. One distinct add-on to Triller Fight Club is that it brings uncommon guest commentary and other music stars to perform at the boxing match. Fight Club’s boxing matches are highly unconventional as they bring on all sorts of fighters. MMA fighters and retired boxers are among the most prominent contestants.


Why Is Triller Promoting Boxing?

Since when did a video-sharing app turn into a boxing promoter? Well, there is more to it than meets the eye. By promoting boxing events, Triller wants to bring a cinematic experience to boxing. In doing so, all spectators can enjoy a front-row experience of a real boxing match. From what we have seen of the matches organized by the Triller Fight Club, the initiative has been well received by the audience, especially boxing purists. Fight Club uses a mix of social media, boxing, music, and celebrity culture.

It is unlike all that we have seen, and this was intended. The promotion of boxing paves the way to a brand new form of entertainment and content delivery. We must not forget that the primary aim of Fight Club goes beyond boxing events. It is a revolution in the entertainment industry. According to the CEO of the parent company that owns Triller, Ryan Kavanaugh, Fight Club aims to organize serious boxing bouts. Hence, boxing fans can enjoy top-tier level boxing matches as a virtual yet high-value experience. Besides, the TFC not only centers its events around boxing, although the latter is the main part of it.

The focus is on the four quadrants:

  • Great fights
  • Big names
  • Social media
  • Music

That is to say, apart from promoting boxing, Triller aims at growing its audience along with the boxing fan base. The TFC has something for everyone. Triller thus wants Fight Club to become more of a family show than a boxing event.


What Does This Mean For Influencers?

Triller Fight Club rose to stardom mainly because of the big names associated with it. While the big names may not be influencers, is it not high time to include them in the game? Among the commentators on the match between Paul and Askren, there were a couple of influencers. Notably, young TikTok stars Charlie and Dixie d’Amelio. Snoop Dogg, Mario Lopez, and supermodel Taylor Hill were also commentators on the match. Although most, if not all, the commentators knew nothing about boxing, the commentary is what made the event unique. Influencers draw their own audience to Fight Club. This shifts the focus from the boxing match only to an increasingly high-value experience.

Furthermore, the crossover between sports, social media, and music allows different influencers to participate in the live events. After all, Triller Fight Club aims at gaining an audience with people having different interests. Moreover, the influencer boxing movement that we have seen with Austin McBroom and Bryce Hall might well be the new favorite sports of Americans. Now bring that to a platform like Fight Club and watch the number of spectators grow exponentially. That is to say; there is a lot of untapped potential for Fight Club and social media influencers. Let’s wait to see what they come up with.


In The End

As we dig deeper into the world of short video formats, we soon realize that the uncertainties and the lack of clarity have given rise to a few different platforms, but the popularity of TikTok has continued to grow. Despite this, Triller was able to create a niche for themselves, particularly backed by Hollywood connections and the music industry. 

In terms of the music library alone, Triller has gained some advantage through partnerships with Spotify, Apple Music, and JioSaavn, a music streaming service based out of India. These partnerships are helping Triller take in users looking for alternatives to TikTok, especially in the US and India. 

For influencers, though TikTok may seem like the natural choice, the issues it faces take the shine off. Triller is positioning itself to take on some of these new influencers, especially those who are musically inclined. The specific focus on hip-hop and EDM may be detrimental to Triller’s story in the long run, but it’s something to keep an eye on. 

Though there are differences, one thing is sure. TikTok, Triller, and other similar platforms represent a new wave of content streaming and consumption, one closely tied to the music industry. These platforms are becoming indispensable for music labels and producers if they are targeting the younger demographics. We will continue to watch the Triller v/s TikTok race quite closely. It remains to be seen if Triller will close the gap on TikTok.

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