Written by Benjamin Oi, Leonard Koh and Clio Goh

TikTok integrates with third-party apps with its new developer program & SDK

TikTok is expanding its influence to popular third-party video creation and editing apps with its new TikTok for Developers program. It will introduce new tools for third-party app developers which will allow them to access TikTok’s creative utilities and to create content from their apps on to TikTok directly.

The first of these new tools is Share to TikTok SDK which lets users edit videos in other editing apps and then publish the edited content from that app to TikTok. One of the key launch partners for the new SDK is Adobe Premiere Rush. In addition to Adobe, the other apps supporting this Share to TikTok SDK are the looping video creator Plotaverse, AR app Fuse.it, gaming highlights recorder Medal, Momento GIF Maker, PicsArt and Enlight Videoleap.

TikTok says that the apps that integrate with the new SDK will also have access to a larger selection of creative tools in addition to the built-in sharing features. Another benefit for the apps is that a specified partner hashtag will accompany the video content shared by creators, helping the app to gain exposure amongst even more TikTok users.

“Most importantly, it gives users multiple avenues to create new original, high-quality content using platforms with exciting creative tools,” says TikTok.

The TikTok for Developers program includes tools to embed videos on the web as well as offering developer documentation and demos amongst other things. TikTok has yet not revealed further plans for the developers’ program and only says that it aims to continue expanding the access to its own creative tools further across the wider app ecosystem.

Facebook is introducing selfies as a new way to verify your identity

Facebook seems to be working on a facial-recognition software that would be used to verify the identities of users who are trying to access the app. Technology blogger and app researcher, Jane Manchun Wong, tweeted about a prototype of Facebook’s facial-recognition identity login on 5th November. Users would be promoted to take a selfie from different angles for facial recognition. 

Jane also mentions in her subsequent tweets that the video selfie taken by the user will not be accessible to anyone else on the app and will be deleted 30 days after the user’s identity confirmation on the app.

WhatsApp Launches Catalog for Small Businesses

Facebook-owned WhatsApp is launching a new feature on WhatsApp Business called catalogs. This move comes from Facebook’s latest endeavour towards monetizing its popular messaging platform. Earlier this year, WhatsApp launched its Business app on iOS, with more than 5 million business users on Android.

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Catalogs will enable merchants to showcase their products and inventories by acting as a mobile storefront - one that can be operated without a website at all - where users can discover their list of goods and services.

While there is currently no option to purchase items, the catalogs seem to appeal to WhatsApp’s customer base in emerging markets, where much of users’ online activity is taking place inside apps instead of websites. This could be a step towards e-commerce on the platform.

This feature is now available to businesses in Brazil, Germany, India, Indonesia, Mexico, the UK and US, with a broader rollout coming soon.