TikTok is about to get a lot more wordy! The popular short-form video platform is expanding its horizons beyond videos by introducing a new feature that lets its creators share their thoughts via text posts. The move brings TikTok into the arena with other social media platforms that allow similar forms of content sharing.
Announced via a press release on Monday, the addition of text posts provides an alternative to filming videos for TikTok creators. This new feature, reminiscent of Instagram Reels, allows creators to upload plain text with a simple background. Users can then engage with these text posts as they scroll through their feed. The move is a clear sign that TikTok is diversifying its platform, encouraging users to express themselves not just through video content but also through written words.
This isn’t TikTok’s first venture into non-video content though. If we rewind to late last year, the platform had already rolled out a feature it called “Photo Mode”. This gave creators the ability to create slideshows of multiple photos, with captions of up to 2,200 characters. The latest text post feature is not so different, only this time, it’s just the text, sans photos.
Creating a text post on TikTok is quite simple. Users just need to log into their TikTok app, navigate to the Camera page, and select the “Text” option. After typing out their thoughts, creators can then further customize their text post on the Post page. They can add sounds, tag locations, enable comments, allow duets, embellish with stickers, choose background colors, and much more.
TikTok’s new feature arrives on the heels of another social media titan’s move to text-based sharing. Earlier this month, Meta, the parent company of Facebook, launched Threads, an app aimed at offering a more light-hearted alternative to Twitter. The app was a smash hit, with a whopping 100 million signups in its first week, earning it the title of the fastest-growing app ever.
However, Threads has since seen its momentum slow considerably, lacking many features that its competitor Twitter offers. Yet, the initial success of Threads underscores the demand for alternatives to Twitter, which has made some controversial changes after its acquisition by Tesla CEO Elon Musk last year.
Twitter’s post-acquisition phase has been characterized by increased extremism and the reinstating of previously suspended accounts. The platform also controversially changed its verification policy, requiring users, including journalists, celebrities, and organizations, to pay an $8 monthly fee for the coveted blue checkmark. The change caused much confusion and even had ramifications on the stock market.
In this climate of evolving social media platforms, TikTok’s move to include text posts is an interesting development. As it diversifies and expands its content offerings, the platform is sure to continue to shape and shift the social media landscape.