TikTok, the popular short-form video app that’s been widely copied by competing social platforms, may be about to return the favor by itself copying the “stories” vanishing-posts format.
The app, owned by Chinese internet giant ByteDance, has kicked off a small pilot test of TikTok Stories in various countries outside the U.S., a company rep said. Like “stories” on other services, TikTok Stories posts would expire after a 24-hour period. It may not turn into a permanent feature of TikTok, the rep added.
“We’re always thinking about new ways to bring value to our community and enrich the TikTok experience,” TikTok spokesperson said in a statement to Variety. “Currently we’re experimenting with ways to give creators additional formats to bring their creative ideas to life for the TikTok community.”
The ephemeral “stories” concept originated on Snapchat, and it was later copied by bigger rivals like Instagram and Facebook. (Twitter also latched onto the idea with Fleets, but it shut the feature down this week after low usage.)
At the same time, TikTok has faced a raft copycats to its own short-form social video. Those include Instagram Reels, Snapchat Spotlight and YouTube Shorts. This week, YouTube kicked off a monetization program for Shorts, under which it says it will pay creators up to $10,000 per month out of a $100 million creator fund.
Screenshots of TikTok Stories were posted to Twitter by Matt Navarra, a social media consultant:
what the… 😳 pic.twitter.com/PIUpKMhj0k
— Matt Navarra (@MattNavarra) August 4, 2021
Last month, ByteDance-owned TikTok said was tripling the length of videos they can share in a single post, from 60 seconds to three minutes. That’s designed to give creators another tool for their videos — and also is driving users to spend more time in the app.
Meanwhile, in June, the Biden administration officially revoked Donald Trump’s executive orders that sought to ban TikTok over alleged national security concerns. President Biden also ordered the Commerce Department to investigate apps with ties to foreign adversaries that may pose a risk to U.S. data privacy or national security.