May 29, 2024
  • TikTok is planning to launch a new app called TikTok Notes that will only house image and text-based posts.
  • The design and the release date for the app are yet to be announced.

TikTok's Photo-Sharing App 'TikTok Notes' Is All Set to Compete with Instagram

TikTok is launching a new photo app called TikTok Notes to compete with Instagram. At least 95 million photos and videos are shared on Instagram each day – and the platform boasts around 2.5 billion active monthly users. TikTok now wants a piece of this.

As part of our continued commitment to innovating the TikTok experience, we’re exploring ways to empower our community to create and share their creativity with photos and text in a dedicated space for those formats.TikTok spokesperson

What Is TikTok Notes?

💡TikTok Notes is a photo-sharing app by TikTok that will be a dedicated space meant only for photo posts. Several users have already been notified that their images will now be posted on TikTok Notes by default unless they opt out of it.

TikTok is yet to finalize the design of the app, so there’s no official release date yet. However, some users took to their X account to share a screenshot of the notification they received.

Take a look: 

TikTok Notes X screenshot

You can even get a teaser of the app on photos.tiktok.com. So far, TikTok Notes seems like any other photo-sharing app – regular photos and a space to add a caption. At the time of writing this, it’s unclear what other features we can expect the app to have.

This isn’t the first time we are hearing news about TikTok’s photo app. Last month, an investigation in TikTok’s APK file revealed codes that indicated the company might be working on developing a photo-sharing platform.

Back then, TikTok Photos was believed to be the name. However, considering the screenshot of the popups shared by the users on X, it looks like the company has settled on TikTok Notes.

Is This a Good Time for TikTok to Launch TikTok Notes?

Industry experts have mixed reactions to this news. Simply put, TikTok Notes is more or less a replica of Instagram. As Mike Proulx (a research director at analysis firm Forrester) said, the copycat phenomenon is not new at all – and if done properly, it often pays off.

For example, Instagram reels were copied from TikTok which in turn inspired YouTube shorts. However, there are instances where copying another app backfired or didn’t produce the expected goods. The best example for this is Instagram Threads, which, after an initial popularity burst at launch, saw its user base plummet in just a few months.

Challenge #1 for TikTok Notes

We already have plenty of photo apps! At a time when short-form videos are taking social media by storm – to an extent that platforms like Facebook and Instagram are pushing it more than other content types – there’s probably not a huge market for photo apps.

Social media consultant Matt Navarra said that TikTok Notes might be beneficial for users who are not comfortable sharing videos.

TikTok has over a billion active users but only a small portion of them are actually making videos. The rest are just lurking around or in it to scroll through the feed. With this new app, regular TikTok users who are not camera-confident will get a place to share a glimpse of their life – basically what popularized Instagram and Facebook in the first place.

That seems like a weak argument to make, though, because if I’m not comfortable shooting a video of mine – and I do indeed just want to post photos – I’d much rather do it on Instagram, where all my friends are.

Challenge #2 for TikTok Notes

TikTok Notes must get not just individual users, but entire groups to sign up on the platform. And the switch must happen rather quickly.

Because let’s be honest, you don’t just want to share a photo with a kickass caption unless your friends (or perhaps someone you want to impress) will be seeing it. A thriving community is needed for any social media app to succeed.

Challenge #3 for TikTok Notes

TikTok Notes must absolutely offer a secure platform. This is a huge one, especially for privacy obsessives like me. Given how Threads fell off partly because it was a privacy nightmare, and that TikTok has previously invited EU probes for monitoring and content violations, as well a potential US ban on the cards, TikTok Notes must not engage in unscrupulous data storing/sharing practices.

In all fairness, though, I don’t want to underestimate TikTok’s ability to popularize a trend. It has done so in the past, and it can do it with TikTok Notes as well – a detailed insight into all of its features in the coming weeks should be exciting!

Why Is TikTok Notes Being Launched as a Separate App?

Until now, whatever new features TikTok added were incorporated into its main app. This time, though, it has decided to digress from its usual strategy and create a new app entirely.

🛑 The reason behind this movie is unknown but it might have to do something with the impending TikTok ban in the US. US regulators have given TikTok a six-month deadline to cut ties with its parent company ByteDance – or get banned in the US.

It’s unclear if TikTok Notes will also face the risk of getting banned. But if not, then maybe this is a way for the company to stay in the US without having to let go of ByteDance.

In other news, TikTok has also started testing 30-minute videos on its platform. Although this project is still at its preliminary stage, if it does work out, both YouTube and Facebook will have a seasoned competitor to worry about. Read more about Facebook’s new portrait-mode video player that will allow it to compete with TikTok.

To conclude, it looks like TikTok is coming for all of its competitors at once, whether that’s trying to poach Instagram users with a fresh and innovative way of posting and interacting with pictures through TikTok Notes or challenging YouTube and Facebook’s dominance when it comes to lengthier content.

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