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TikTok takes a page from Instagram playbook, adds text-post feature

The news: TikTok is moving beyond short-form video with its latest innovation: support for text posts. The new feature allows TikTok users to share stories, lyrics, poems, and other text-based content, offering another medium to showcase their creativity.

  • TikTok's text-post feature mirrors Instagram Stories' text-only option, continuing a trend of cross-inspiration as seen with TikTok's addition of static images last year.

How it works: Upon opening the app’s camera page, the updated interface now presents users with three options: photo, video, and text.

  • Once users opt for the text feature, they can create their content and modify the context by integrating sounds, pinning a location, enabling comments, and even permitting Duets.
  • The feature allows for further customization with stickers, tags, hashtags, and various background colors.
  • Users can save their creations as drafts, returning to them later for editing, or they can discard them outright.

Will it work? Despite initial skepticism, TikTok's image support has become essential to the app, hinting at potential acceptance for its new text-post feature.

  • The new text feature on TikTok streamlines the already prevalent practice of incorporating text into videos and images by creators.
  • As The Verge notes, TikTok aims to offer an alternative to users keen on sharing text-based content, much like Meta's introduction of its Threads app. However, the text posts on TikTok will be far from identical to those on Threads or Twitter—sorry, we mean X—likely necessitating a level of creativity that TikTok audiences have come to expect.
  • This move could be a sign that TikTok believes it will see slowing user growth ahead and is trying to appeal to more users. After expandinging its US user base 6.7% this year, that figure will drop to just 3.4% by 2026.

The final word: Having earned a leading position in the short-video market, TikTok is once again broadening its horizons beyond its original content format. It aims to empower users with more expressive mediums and simultaneously compete with other social platforms.

  • Of course, the success of this new feature will depend on how its community embraces and innovates with these new text-based capabilities.