Twitter might have closed down its Stories features known as Fleets, however, the Stories format will keep on attacking other social platforms. TikTok today affirmed it’s piloting a new feature, TikTok Stories, which will permit it to investigate extra ways for its community to rejuvenate its innovative ideas to life.
The organization noticed the new feature will be another option, notwithstanding its current storytelling tools like videos, Duets, Stitch, and LIVE — it’s not intended to supplant them.
The new feature, just called “TikTok Stories,” seems to work also to different stories functions on apps like Instagram or Snapchat. Stories live in a recently added slide-over sidebar, where you’ll have the option to see stories posted by accounts that you follow on TikTok for 24 hours before they’re automatically deleted. Different clients will actually want to react and comment on your story, as well. Furthermore, actually like on Instagram and different platforms, you’ll likewise have the option to tap on a client’s profile picture to load a story.
TikTok depicts the feature in the app as “a new way to interact with your fans.” Users can make a new story by tapping a “create” button that has been added to the sidebar, and they can add the usual captions, music, and text. True to TikTok’s video-first nature, it appears stories must be videos, not still pictures.
TikTok didn’t say how long the pilot test would run or regardless of whether it would bring about a public launch. In any case, we comprehend the test has been running for a few days, not weeks or months. It is accessible in a small handful of non-U.S. markets, for the time being, fully intent on acquiring knowledge and feedback from TikTok clients.
The current set of features could conceivably come to the public product, we ought to warn.
The feature was found by social media consultant Matt Navarra, who is often among the first to discover new features in social apps. For this situation, he discloses to us that few tipsters brought screenshots of TikTok Stories to him, yet it was at first unclear whether it was a hoax.
The timing, obviously, was to some degree suspect — Twitter had quite recently closed down Fleets in what was a genuinely high-profile example of a failure to make Stories work on a social platform, despite their popularity on other popular apps, like Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook and even, lately, Pinterest.
From the screenshots and videos of TikTok Stories in action, we see a product that appears to be, generally, something that looks familiar to clients of Stories on different platforms.
Clients can tap a camera button from the new navigation bar on the left side of the screen to make their first Story, then, at that point use common tools like those to add text or stickers, embed sounds, and even use effects on their content. Like different platforms, clients can either record videos or upload photos — the latter which opens up TikTok to take advantage of users’ larger camera rolls, instead of depending just on video.
Where TikTok’s version of Stories separates itself is that it permits clients to comment publicly on the maker’s content. These comments are public, the app clarifies, as mutual friends can see each other’s comments. There is likewise another tab where you can perceive the number of individuals who viewed a given Story, and regardless of whether you’re following those clients. A button will permit you to click to follow people back if you decide.
TikTok’s Stories are likewise ephemeral and disappear in 24 hours, the app’s tutorial clarifies.
To see Stories from different makers, you can look through the new sidebar and tap on the maker’s avatar to watch their content. (This nearly seems as though a vertical version of Twitter’s Fleets bar, even down to the blue rings around makers’ profile photos.)
The addition of Stories offers TikTok clients who don’t post with regularity (or at all) a simpler method to begin engaging with TikTok’s tools by beginning with a more agreeable and familiar format. It can likewise give makers an approach to interact casually with fans in the middle of their more cleaned and edited TikTok video posts.
However, it additionally gives TikTok a lot bigger surface where it could ultimately run advertisements, expecting it can first appropriately moderate the inescapable efforts to skirt its community rules that come about because of launching an “ephemeral” feature.
The feature is additionally a direct shot across Instagram’s bow, following the Facebook-owned app’s direct attempt to copy TikTok with Reels.
“We’re always thinking about new ways to bring value to our community and enrich the TikTok experience,” a TikTok spokesperson wrote in a statement to The Verge. “Currently we’re experimenting with ways to give creators additional formats to bring their creative ideas to life for the TikTok community.”
The organization didn’t give any subtleties on how broadly it’s testing TikTok Stories, nor when (or regardless of whether) it’ll see a more extensive release. Notwithstanding, a quick search on Twitter uncovers various TikTok clients who have already gained access to the feature.
The fact that TikTok would experiment with stories isn’t surprising. Stories have been one of the only true constants in social media, with platforms from Instagram to Facebook to Linkedin to Pinterest to Netflix to YouTube to the Xbox app replicating Snapchat’s original feature from 2013. At the point when they work, stories are an incredible method to get clients to interact with one another on an app, offer a new place for ads, and generally keep the feedback loop of a social media app in motion.
Stories aren’t generally successful, nonetheless: simply ask Twitter, which was forced to shutter its own stories clone — the creatively named Fleets — earlier this week, only eight months after it launched them, because of an overall lack of care toward the feature.
TikTok declined to say which markets, specifically, can evaluate TikTok Stories. Screenshots show the feature depicted in English and on Android phones, however.
However Stories might have failed on Twitter, the platform isn’t known for being a home for rich, innovative tools, as TikTok. In the meantime, TikTok believes in investigating any inventive tool that could permit its clients to express themselves — regardless of whether that is through video, live streaming, interfacing with others, or presently, through ephemeral, short-form content.
Snapchat was the first app to feature Stories before the format was broadly copied by everybody from Facebook to LinkedIn. Twitter additionally attempted to make the feature work on its platform with Fleets, yet that experiment was finished earlier this week. Similar to its adversaries, TikTok might feel it needs to add Stories to remain applicable, especially with organizations like YouTube investing millions to replicate its success.