TikTok - Third Party Libraries

24 Apr 2023 By MORISSARD Jérôme

TikTok officially uses open source projects in its iOS application. There is nothing wrong with this, and TikTok does it quite fairly. This article list the main Open source projects use in the Official TikTok App.

At AppScan, we are very curious by nature, and the TikTok application was a small challenge that allowed us to improve our library detection tool even more.

Why is it important to increase our knowledge about libraries?

  • To allow developers to discover libraries
  • To help them make better choices
  • To warn if risks are present

How AppScan detects the Third Party Libraries

Scanning the list of Frameworks

Discovering the list of third-party libraries used in a compiled iOS application can be more challenging than inspecting the app’s project files directly. One of the first approach is to review the list of dynamic frameworks included in the App.

Readding Info.plist hints

Check the app’s Info.plist file: The Info.plist file is a property list file that contains various metadata about the app. It may include information about the third-party libraries that are being used. Look for any keys or values that reference third-party libraries, or any URLs that may indicate the use of an external library or service.

Enumerating the Bundle resources

Check the app’s specific resources in the App bundle. So resources are really specifics to some Open Source library.

Analyzing Executable Binary Hints

Review classes & methods called by the App. Some classes, some methods, some things are really specifics to some Open Source library.

To summarize, when we use projects that we distribute, we must comply with the rules specific to each license of each library.

In general, apps use libraries with permissive licenses such as BSD (Berkeley Software Distribution), MIT, Apache 2.

A permissive license is simple and is the most basic type of open source license: It allows you to do whatever you want with the software as long as you abide by the notice requirements. Permissive licenses provide the software as-is, with no warranties. So permissive licenses can be summarized as follows:

TikTok iOS Third Party Libraries

UI Components



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