The TikTok LIVE feature allows users and content creators to engage with their followers and audiences in real-time by broadcasting live videos to the platform.
With live videos, viewers can interact with creators through gifts, comments, and Q&As, among others, which fosters a sense of community.
But as usual, as more users engross themselves in this feature, privacy questions arise, one of which is whether they can watch live videos anonymously. This post will answer that question.
By default, when you are just watching a live video on TikTok, no one can see that you are watching except for the video host. Other users can’t see you, so you are basically ‘anonymous’.
However, that’s as anonymous as it gets, if you are asking ‘Can you watch TikTok live anonymously (as in anonymous from the video’s host as well)’, this is not possible if you are logged in, but you can try one of 2 ways:
- Watch TikTok live without logging in
- Create another account and use it to watch your TikTok live video(s).
I’ll be explaining these in detail in the following sections.
With the above noted, I would like to point out that when I logged into my account and tried watching a live video, I noticed the moment I joined, an alert appeared at the bottom screen showing I’ve joined. And others kept popping up when other people joined the live.
So it would be smart to keep in mind that this happens, though these popups don’t stay on for long as other people keep joining, so I guess you are safe as long as no one notices you’ve joined the live. And of course, as long as you don’t interact; like, share, or comment.
Keep this in mind as we look at the options in the next section.
Can you watch TikTok Live anonymously?
As I mentioned earlier, while TikTok allows you to watch live videos anonymously (anonymous from other users), the video host can still see you watching.
If that’s not good enough for you and you want to be completely anonymous, try one of these solutions:
1. Watch the TikTok live without logging in
If you have a particular live video you would like to watch, make sure you have the host’s username copied.
Open up the TikTok app on your mobile or the TikTok website in your browser on your desktop or mobile, paste in the username, and hit search, and then you can go ahead and watch the stream.
But note that you will not be able to interact with the creator or other users on the live video, that is, you will not be able to like, comment, send a gift, share, et al. unless you log in.
And of course, if you log in and interact, everyone will see you.
2. Open another account
If you want to watch a live video anonymously but then still want the option to interact with the host and other users, this is the option for you.
Simply open another TikTok account that you can use to watch that live video without anyone knowing you are the one, or you can even dedicate this new account to the “anonymous” watching of all the live videos you are interested in.
All you need to do is use other credentials to create this account and you can go ahead and watch anonymously and even interact if you want to, and no one will be the wiser!
To create a second TikTok account, open your TikTok app and then you can either:
- Go to your Profile by tapping the profile picture at the bottom right, then tap the menu in the right corner (☰) and go to Settings and Privacy, scroll down and go to Switch account > Add account.
- You can simply tap on your profile picture at the bottom right, then tap on your current username at the top, and select Add account, then follow the rest of the procedure.
You can go ahead and choose which platform you want to log in with.
Remember to use a unique username that no one will tell, or you can even create a whole new email to use for this account.
There, have fun being anonymous!
How to stop seeing lives on TikTok
If, like many other users, you have fallen victim to some unwanted TikTok live videos; where you are scrolling through your feed of the For you page and you keep stumbling upon live videos from people you don’t follow or know for that matter, you may be wondering how to stop seeing these on your account.
Unfortunately, despite my best efforts, I couldn’t find a tangible solution for this frustrating issue on TikTok or the internet in general, one that will ensure you completely stop seeing lives on your TikTok.
The best advice I can give you at the moment is if you come across one of those unwanted live videos, long press the video then select Not interested.
This will unfold another menu where you can select Not interested in any LIVE videos.
Hopefully, if you do this for as many LIVE videos as possible, TikTok will get the idea and stop sending them your way.
If you keep receiving Live video notifications from people you follow but are not interested in watching their live videos, you may want to turn off Live notifications.
To do this:
Go to Settings and Privacy > Content & display > Notifications > Live notification settings, and toggle off the ‘Get LIVE notifications from accounts you follow’ option.
Additionally, you could also solve this unwanted live video problem by simply ignoring them and scrolling by them quickly, or you could consider unfollowing TikTok accounts that always do unnecessary live videos.
Can people see if you’re watching a TikTok live?
No. Other TikTok users can’t see if you are watching a live video. Only the host can see that you are. However, if you like or comment on the live video, other people will be able to see it as well.
How do I hide my TikTok live from someone?
If you want to hide your live video from a specific individual, you may simply block their account. This way, they will not be able to see or interact with your content.
How long does TikTok live last?
There is no set time limit for TikTok live videos. You can do a live video that runs as short as a few minutes to as long as a few hours or so. Just make sure it’s engaging enough so you don’t lose your audience.
Can you watch a TikTok live without the host knowing?
No, you can’t. By default, the TikTok live host can see a list of usernames of all people who are currently watching their live stream.
Only the other live viewers won’t be able to see you or the other people watching.
Do viewers appear in any public list during a TikTok Live session?
Some live sessions may display a list of Top Viewers; viewers who have contributed to the live video the most through virtual gifts. And there’s a list of comments as well.
I didn’t come across any other list with general viewers.
If I choose to stop seeing lives on TikTok, will this affect other types of content on my TikTok feed?
No, stopping live videos should only impact the visibility of live content on your Discover of For You page. It shouldn’t affect other types of content like regular videos.
Are there other ways to control the content I see on TikTok?
Yes, you can also control the content you see by adjusting your preferences in the app settings, managing who you follow, and using the “Not Interested” option on videos you don’t want to see.
You can also do this on Tiktok live videos by selecting either;
Not interested in this LIVE if there’s a particular live video you do not want to see, or
Not interested in this LIVE creator if there is a particular person’s live video you do not want to see.
This way, you can just keep seeing only the live videos you are interested in, hopefully.
In summary, TikTok has numerous tweakable privacy settings for live videos, but most of them cater to live video interaction, not to anonymity.
The idea of watching TikTok live anonymously is still a bit confusing and challenging at the moment, and your only options are to watch without logging in or creating a dedicated account to use for watching your live video(s).
Or, if you would rather not go through the above and you simply want to watch without interacting, you can risk it and just join the live video, and hope no one who knows you will notice the alert that you joined, after all, it will disappear soon!
Enjoy your live videos, and remember this song; ‘oh be careful little eyes what you see… ‘