Severally we have witnessed social media apps introduce the idea of the stories features, today it’s TikTok’s turn. The popular video app is experimenting with a new stories feature. The new feature, called “TikTok Stories,” appears to work similarly to other stories functions on apps like Instagram, Snapchat, etc. Stories live in a newly added slide-over sidebar, where you’ll be able to see stories posted by accounts that you follow on TikTok for 24 hours before they’re automatically go-away. Other users will be able to react and comment on your story, too. And just like on Instagram and other social platforms around, you’ll also be able to tap on a user’s profile picture to load their story.
TikTok confirmed the news in a statement, “We’re always thinking about new ways to bring value to our community and enrich the TikTok experience. Currently, we’re experimenting with ways to give creators additional formats to bring their creative ideas to life for the TikTok community.” TikTok describes the new feature as “a new way to interact with your fans.” Users can simply create a new story by tapping the “Create” button that’s been added to the sidebar, and can also add the usual captions, music, and text which TikTok is known for. However, unlike other apps, the comments of the stories will be available to the author on the story itself, rather than in a personal or direct message or DM as it’s fondly called. True to TikTok’s video-first nature, it’s still unconfirmed if stories have to be only videos, not still images.
However, TikTok didn’t provide any detail on how extensive testing of TikTok Stories is going or would be. No detail of when (or even if) it’ll see a wider release. Interestingly a quick search on Twitter revealed a number of TikTok users who have already gotten access to the feature. It’s not surprising TikTok joins the stories chase, over and over again stories have proven to be a great way to get users to interact with each other on an app, offer a new place for ads, and generally keep the feedback loop of a social media app in motion. Sadly, it’s hard to discuss the chances of succeeding with the feature right now.
Meanwhile, this has come at the same time when social media platform Twitter took back its fleets feature that allowed users also post disappearing stories. Twitter claims it didn’t record success from its Fleets, as a result, the company decided to shut down the feature. Also, we hear messaging app, WhatsApp is also trying its hand at a new feature that will allow users to send videos and photos with the “view once” option. While Facebook-owned WhatsApp is hoping to provide more privacy to users, ByteDance-owned TikTok is hoping to record more successes than Facebook and WhatsApp put together.