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TikTok’s Photo App Moves a Step Closer to Reality

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It looks like TikTok may be close to launching its new dedicated photo app, which has been in the works for a while, and may now have a new, official name.

TikTok Notes

As you can see in this example, posted by @cmcalgary, some users are now being informed that their still image uploads on TikTok will soon be viewable on “TikTok Notes” as well.

As per the pop-up:

“TikTok Notes, a new app for photo posts, is coming soon. Your existing and future public TikTok photo posts will be shown on TikTok Notes.”

So essentially, TikTok’s looking to launch a clone of what Instagram originally was, and populate it with all of the still images that have already been shared to its main app.

So it’s pulling an Uno reverse card on Meta, and replicating its features for a change, though whether TikTok users will actually be interested in a separate still image app remains to be seen.

As noted, TikTok has actually been experimenting with a photo app for some time, with references to “TikTok Photos” spotted in the back-end code of the app early last month. That’s now seemingly been updated to “TikTok Notes” instead, which could also be another potential dig at Instagram, which has its own “Notes” feature, which now includes the capacity to share different types of updates with selected friends.

TikTok’s also been pushing users to post still images in the app. It added a “photo mode” in 2022, enabling users to share still images in-stream, which it’s also been encouraging via pop-up alerts as well.

TikTok photos

The addition of a still image app also aligns with Chinese market trends, where the Tencent-backed Xiaohongshu, essentially a local version of Instagram, has seen big success, particularly after incorporating eCommerce features.

As such, it makes sense for TikTok to try it out, by using the content that it already has. But I remain skeptical that users are going to want another still image app, and that TikTok will be able to translate its short-form video success into another platform.

But with a potential ban looming, maybe TikTok’s pulling out all the stops, and trying out its various experiments while it can.

TikTok owner ByteDance has already launched its separate eCommerce platform Lemon8 in Western regions, which saw a heap of early attention, then lost traction a few months in. It also has TikTok Music, which has seen some success.

A separate image app is another potential pathway, and it does seem like TikTok is pushing ahead with it, at least as an experiment.

We’ve asked TikTok for more information, and we’ll update this post if/when we hear back.

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