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TikTok’s woes have made Triller one of its biggest competitors

The app recently increased its reach for influencers to expand its reach and build on recent growth. Triller CEO Mike Lu said today at TechCrunch Disrupt that the company has begun closing deals with influencers, including the D’Amelio, despite not providing details of the agreements. “We had never paid anyone to do a video until a month ago,”

; said Lu.

Now the company hopes its growing number of influencers will help the app further expand its audience. The app recently named Josh Richards, the 18-year-old TikTok star, as its chief strategy officer aimed at attracting other social media celebrities. “You’re going to see some really big names every day,” Lu said of the company’s efforts to attract the creators.

Trill was introduced in 2015 and is similar to TikTok at first glance. The app offers two feeds with an endless stream of video and has nifty edit controls for users who want to record their own clips. The LA-based company made a name for itself with artists thanks to its early focus on music videos, but it also has influential features and allows the app’s developers to monetize their content.

Because of these features, Triller was particularly well positioned to ask questions about the future of TikTok. (Lu also notes that Triller collects far less user data than TikTok.

It’s not just Gen-Z either. Triller also made headlines when Donald Trump and Donald Trump Jr. joined the app when the president threatened to ban TikTok. While it’s not yet clear how their presence in the app has affected the platform, the threat of banning the app helped significantly.

The app reached first place in the US App Store the day after Trump said he would ban the service. It also reached the top spot in India after TikTok was banned in the country. The Trill app was number one in more than 80 countries this summer, Lu said. It has been downloaded more than 250 million times worldwide, the company said to CNBC last month.

“It’s great to see the world seeing us as natural successors to TikTok,” said Lu. “We’re definitely on a missile ship … and we don’t see it slowing down anytime soon.”

Still, Triller could see some of its recent momentum slowing after TikTok reached an agreement to stay in the US. TikTok stars who may have once worried about restarting their careers on another service no longer have to worry about their audience disappearing overnight.

However, if the company can continue to attract influencers with paid deals and monetization features, it could pose an even bigger threat to TikTok.

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