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You’re probably living under a rock if you say you haven’t heard of TikTok. In case you haven’t, TikTok is a video-sharing app that allows users to create and share short videos. It’s true when people say that TikTok is one of the fastest-growing social media apps out there, and they’ve just grown a little more with the new feature TikTok Stories.
Since launching around 4 years ago, the app’s popularity has quickly increased in such a short amount of time and was the most downloaded video app on the App Store (Apple). Now TikTok has over 1 billion users worldwide and analysts are estimating that it will become a billion-user app by the end of this year.
With the strong point being video content creation, TikTok provided creators a platform with all the tools needed to create their short videos.
Originating from Snapchat, the feature of ‘stories’ brought huge success to the platform. It was no surprise that other social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter would follow. So are we really shocked that TikTok has now confirmed it’s testing out its new feature ‘TikTok Stories’?
The announcement came a few months after Twitter had shut down its ‘Fleets’ due to it not being successful on the app. Because stories are popular on other platforms, it will be interesting to see how users adapt to this new feature.
What are TikTok Stories?
So what exactly are TikTok Stories?
It’s pretty simple, TikTok Stories are content that is posted to TikTok accounts that only last for 24 hours before they disappear and are deleted. Followers or other users will be able to react and comment on your story.
By simply swiping to the right of the ‘For You’ page, stories will be displayed in a newly added slide-over sidebar. This is where you’ll be able to see stories posted by accounts that you follow or create one yourself. The same as other social media platforms, users will also be able to tap on a user’s profile picture to load a story from their icon.
The addition of Stories also offers TikTok users who don’t post often or an easier way to start engaging with TikTok’s tools by playing around with a much more simple format.
It will provide creators with a way to interact with their audience more casually or with extra content that they don’t want to showcase on their main feed.
Exploring another way for its community to bring their creative ideas to life, the company states that the new feature is not meant to out-shine or replace current ones but in fact act as an addition to its existing video creation tools like videos, duets, stitch and live.
“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.”
Deciding between TikTok vs Instagram Stories? Read more about the pros and cons of marketing on the two apps here.
How to Create a TikTok Story
When the feature launches for you, creating a TikTok is as simple as:
- Swiping the ‘For You’ page to the right
- Clicking on the ‘Create’ icon to activate the camera
- Hold down the shutter button to record a story
- Post the story
what the… 😳 pic.twitter.com/PIUpKMhj0k
— Matt Navarra (@MattNavarra) August 4, 2021
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How do TikTok Stories Differentiate?
Adding stories has allowed TikTok to add yet another feature to its long list of tools that can be widely accessed under one platform.
However, being very much similar to stories on other social media platforms, the key difference that sets TikTok Stories apart from its competitors is its public comments.
Rather than comments or replies to stories be sent directly to the user’s direct message box, TikTok stories allow users to comment publicly on the creator’s content and the comments can be seen by anyone. If you are mutual friends you will also be able to see each other’s comments first.
Instead of a private list of story views, there is also another tab where you can see how many people watch each and every one of our stories, whether you’re following those users or not. This will also give you a chance to follow them back.
How can Creators use This Feature?
There’s no doubt that in today’s day and age influencers and content creators have a massive role. Up to the point where ‘influencing’ has even become a job and brands are continuously incorporating them into their marketing strategies.
“Currently we’re experimenting with ways to give creators additional formats to bring their creative ideas to life for the TikTok community” TikTok outlined in a statement given to American media outlets.
So of course, this new feature can also be adapted to assist content creators.
TikTok stories can be a great way for creators to increase their engagement and build a strong TikTok community. Whether that be a completely new community or not, this feature can be seen as a way to further engage with your audience.
When posting TikTok stories, those stories are only shown to those who follow you. This is the perfect opportunity to encourage users who don’t follow you to do so, so they don’t miss out on any of your content.
On these stories creators can post content including:
- Behind the scenes content from photoshoots or video shoots
- Q&As to interact and connect with their audience
- Everyday activities
- Sponsored Deals / Promo Codes
- Special Announcements
Ready to start marketing on TikTok? See a full guide to using TikTok as a platform for brand sponsorships here.
Unfortunately, the TikTok Stories feature is only now undergoing piloting and is not available for everyone just yet.
At the moment, we’ve only seen TikTok stories being available to selected users from the US. However, TikTok has not indicated if TikTok Stories test will be taking part in additional countries or the number of users involved.
From the looks of how things are going with user reactions, TikTok stories are looking to be in a position where it will become a permanent feature and launch worldwide.