Short video app TikTok has recently unveiled a new developer program containing tools that allow third-party developers to integrate their apps onto the platform, TechCrunch reported.

Why it matters: TikTok has lagged its Chinese version, Douyin, in terms of integrated services such as editing and e-commerce, and Bytedance has been actively trying to bridge the gap to better monetize the platform in overseas markets.

Details: The main tool in the program is a “Share to TikTok” software development kit (SDK), which allows users to edit videos in apps that partner with TikTok to publish directly to the short-video platform.

  • One of the apps supporting the SDK is Adobe Premiere Rush, Adobe’s mobile video-editing tool, which was launched in October 2018.
  • Other apps that have teamed up with TikTok include image-animating app Plotaverse, augmented reality tool, gaming highlights recorder Medal, and three others.
  • Teaming with third-party apps opens user data to other parties and could increase risk of data privacy violations such as the Cambridge Analytica debacle that Facebook grappled with, according to a Bloomberg report.

Context: Lawmakers in the US have been suspicious of TikTok’s data security protocols. US Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Republican Senator Tom Cotton in October requested an assessment of the security risks posed by TikTok, voicing concerns about the platform’s data collection practices.

  • Bytedance on Monday declined to attend a congressional hearing organized by Republican Senator John Hawley to explore potential privacy and security concerns posed by social media platforms, including TikTok, and their ties to Beijing.

TikTok declines to testify to Congress about China ties

Tony Xu is Shanghai-based tech reporter. Connect with him via e-mail:

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