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May 8, 2024
(Updated on
Apr 10, 2024

TikTok Notes: A Rumoured Instagram-Like New App

TikTok is reportedly developing a new photo-sharing app that could compete with Instagram, with the tentative name "TikTok Notes." This information has emerged from various leaks and user notifications, suggesting a move by TikTok to diversify its content offerings and tap into the photo-sharing market.

Photo by Eyestetix Studio on Unsplash

According to reports, TikTok users have received pop-up notifications directing them to post photos on TikTok Notes, indicating that the app will integrate with existing TikTok content. The notifications also mention that users have the option to opt out of sharing their posts on the new app. This suggests that TikTok is aiming to create a seamless user experience across its platforms, potentially giving TikTok Notes an initial user base from its existing photo posts on TikTok. 

A site called notes.tiktok.com is currently live on the web with a nonfunctioning “open app” button that teases polaroid-looking posts featuring a still photo and caption, much like the posts that once dominated Instagram, which was bought by Meta in 2012.

The emergence of TikTok Notes comes at a time when social media platforms are increasingly borrowing features from one another to retain user engagement. Instagram, for example, introduced "Reels" to compete with TikTok's short-form video format. TikTok's foray into photo-sharing can be seen as a response to this trend, as it seeks to expand its content offerings beyond videos.

In addition, TikTok Notes is also making strides in text-based content. As of July 2023, TikTok announced the rollout of support for text posts, marking a significant expansion of its content formats beyond the short-form videos and images it initially focused on. This move is likely aimed at competing with platforms like Twitter (now X) and Meta's Threads as users seek alternative spaces for text-based content. The introduction of text posts allows TikTok creators to share a wider range of content, including stories, updates, jokes, and other written forms. The text post feature is designed to be as interactive and dynamic as video or photo posts, with options to add sounds, tag locations, enable comments, and allow duets. Creators can also customize their text posts with stickers, tags, hashtags, and various background colours, enhancing the visual appeal and engagement potential of their written content.

The potential success of TikTok Notes could hinge on several factors. The main one being, TikTok's existing user base and popularity could provide a strong foundation for the new app. By leveraging its existing community, TikTok Notes could quickly gain traction and user engagement

However, TikTok Notes will face stiff competition from players like Instagram, which has a long-standing presence in the photo-sharing market. According to reports, 78% of American youths in the 18–29 age bracket use Instagram, with 62% using TikTok.  Instagram's user base and extensive feature set, including photo carousels and music integration, set a high bar for TikTok Notes. To succeed, TikTok will need to differentiate its app by offering unique features or a more engaging user experience.

The development of TikTok Notes also reflects a broader trend in social media, where platforms are continuously evolving to capture a larger share of user attention. By expanding into photo-sharing, TikTok is signalling its ambition to become a more comprehensive content platform rather than being confined to short-form videos.

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