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How TikTok Enhanced its Video Social Expertise on Android

Posted by The Android Developer Relations staff


TikTok serves a variety of person teams. With customers around the globe, it’s inevitable that a few of them expertise community points akin to sluggish, intermittent, or costly connectivity. Different customers are utilizing entry stage gadgets with restricted reminiscence and storage. Making certain a wonderful app expertise in all these situations is paramount. TikTok’s staff was capable of considerably enhance their total efficiency by following Android’s efficiency steerage, and using their deep understanding of growth instruments akin to Android Gradle Plugin and Jetpack libraries. If you wish to find out how the TikTok staff improved their app expertise to realize higher enterprise efficiency, please learn our enterprise article right here.


TikTok is likely one of the hottest community-driven leisure platforms with 1 billion individuals throughout the globe publishing and shopping video content material on daily basis.

A various person base naturally means numerous community bandwidth circumstances and gadgets with totally different display screen sizes, obtainable reminiscence and processing energy. All customers need a clean, responsive app expertise, irrespective of which system they use. If the app is sluggish to load, or playback will get caught, customers will really feel annoyed and may abandon the app altogether. To keep away from points like these, the TikTok staff constantly tracks the general app efficiency via ongoing information monitoring, peer benchmarks, and person surveys.

TikTok is continually introducing new options. However a speedy enhance in performance generally results in an upsurge in technical necessities. The engineering staff recognized three causes that slowed down the app : janky frames, video playback lag, and community points. To resolve these points, the TikTok staff seemed to Android instruments to begin their app enchancment journey.

From Discovery to Resolution

Lowering app startup time, a smoother person expertise with decreased jank and higher video playback expertise have been three main objectives that the staff prioritized. Additionally they mentioned the right way to measure the consequences of efficiency optimization to forestall the prevalence of regression.

1. Sooner startup: refactor startup framework

App startup time is likely one of the metrics in Android Vitals. Ensuring the app startup time is not than the Android Important’s advice is one of the simplest ways to make sure the app hundreds and begins responding to person exercise as shortly as attainable. The App Startup library is an Android Jetpack library to assist builders initialize app parts merely and effectively.

The staff studied the App Startup library in depth and refactored the app’s startup framework to realize on-demand loading and meticulous scheduling of parts. So as to additional scale back the execution time of making Views on the primary thread, the staff even used a background thread to load View parts asynchronously, thus enhancing the general velocity of app startup.

TikTok used Simpleperf to investigate the code execution time, and Android Studio’s Profiler to watch the utilization of sources akin to reminiscence, CPU, and community to optimize I/O, threads, and useful resource locks.

2. Smoother person interface

To make sure a smoother person interface, the staff wanted to deal with two challenges: 1) simplify the View hierarchy, in order that the app solely renders what is critical on display screen, and a couple of) scale back the variety of process executions in every body in order that the app can have a gradual body price.

The TikTok staff used the Format Inspector in Android Studio to pinpoint the pointless format contents. The format boundaries of every View are clearly seen within the inspector, so the staff can simply simplify the View hierarchy of the interface and scale back extreme and pointless content material drawing.

In lots of circumstances, TikTok used doFrame() to carry out frame-by-frame duties. Making an attempt to suit an excessive amount of work in a single body will inevitably trigger a jank. TikTok’s method was to make use of allocation algorithms to distribute duties into totally different frames to make sure that the appliance has a gradual body price.

3. Higher video playback expertise: reuse sources

TikTok customers can create audio and video content material in numerous methods, and totally different codecs are used to play various kinds of content material. Android gives the MediaCodec class to assist entry the underlying codec. To additional enhance the velocity of video playback, it’s good apply to supply totally different media participant cases for various codecs. The TikTok staff created a pool of media participant cases all through the appliance to neatly present for numerous media contents. They even run every media participant occasion in numerous threads to reduce interference between each other

Community connection velocity is one other contributor to video lag . The staff examined totally different options, together with optimizing connections and reusing sockets, and developed algorithms to dynamically modify buffer size when streaming content material to cut back lag throughout playback.

Additionally they used on-device video super-resolution to generate high-resolution frames primarily based on low-resolution video content material, additional enhancing the standard of video playback with out growing community stress.

Preloading (loading the following video forward of time) and pre-rendering (rendering the primary body of the video forward of time) are crucial parts to make sure that customers have a clean expertise when enjoying a number of movies in succession. TikTok drew a Floor upfront solely including it into the display screen when it’s truly wanted, to cut back the stress of drawing it on the spot.

4. Keep away from regressions

The staff continues to take care of an in depth understanding of efficiency and works to fine-tune components when obligatory. Fortunately, Android has instruments in place for this precise objective, like Systrace to seize traces so builders can export system actions (together with CPU scheduling, disk actions, and app threads) for detailed evaluation. The staff additionally depends closely on instruments like Perfetto and Android Studio CPU profiler to trace the execution time of assorted occasions, particularly for I/O and sophistication loading.

Higher Efficiency, Higher Expertise

TikTok creatively leveraged the Android toolchain to trace, quantify, and optimize their app’s efficiency for its enterprise priorities, leading to improved person expertise and a rise in person satisfaction

The app startup time was decreased by 45%, and the smoothness (the possibility of the body price being decrease than the goal worth) has been optimized by 49%. When enjoying a video, the primary body of the video appeared 41% sooner, and the possibility of video lag was decreased by 27%.

Customers are actually extra keen to make use of TikTok: energetic days per person in 30 days elevated by 1percentas did the typical of session length. Person surveys and TikTok’s score in Google Play additionally present a major enhance in person satisfaction.

The Subsequent Stage for TikTok

By always optimizing app efficiency and adapting to the newest Android 13 platform, TikTok has created a extra seamless app expertise, encouraging extra customers to find, create, and share the content material they love.

With greater than 250 million energetic large-screen Android gadgets globally, the staff has additionally been specializing in large-screen gadgets, together with foldable gadgets. By adopting the app to massive screens, the staff has introduced a extra immersive expertise to TikTok customers.

To study extra about how TikTok optimized its Android app to enhance person expertise and enterprise efficiency, learn the article right here.

Get Steering on Efficiency

To study how one can get began to examine, enhance and monitor your app’s efficiency go to our developer information. The quickest manner to enhance your app’s launch velocity is by including a baseline profile to your subsequent launch.



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