TikTok Introduces Potential Instagram Competitor

Many are wondering if the new photo-sharing app could be a new rival for the other popular social media platform, Instagram.

TikTok Introduces Potential Instagram Competitor
Katie Metz // Adriana Lacy Consulting
A version of this article first appeared in the Media Minds Newsletter. Subscribe today and get the newsletter delivered to your inbox twice a week.

You have probably already heard of the news surrounding the potential TikTok ban, but the popular platform has once again made its way into news headlines. This time, TikTok is notifying users about a new app called “TikTok Notes.” However, this isn’t said to be just any app. Many are wondering if the new photo-sharing app could be a new rival for the other popular social media platform, Instagram.

Where Did This Begin?

Speculations arose in March when code within the TikTok app hinted at a photo-sharing feature. The app said they were looking to find new ways for their community to exhibit their creativity with photos and text in one designated space. With no other information, this all led users to believe that the platform would be releasing a new app called “TikTok Photos.” While this may not be exactly what the app is called, the speculation was not far from the truth. This conversation recently resurfaced after some users had reported receiving a pop-up when sharing photo posts that said their photos would also be shared on a “coming soon” platform called TikTok Notes.

Features of the New App

While TikTok has already begun letting users post pictures to its original platform, it now wishes to further explore photo posting on a designated platform. Just like Instagram, TikTok Notes will be formatted as a page of graphics and photos with text beneath them. The website for the platform is already live at notes.tiktok.com, but is not yet useable for the public. So far the layout of the app can only be gathered from pictures on the live website. The “Open App” button on the released page is currently disabled.

When Will this App be Available?

Many TikTok users have already been greeted with a pop-up notification letting them know that their photos will also be posted on TikTok Notes if they do not opt out of cross-platform sharing. However, TikTok Notes is not available to anyone yet so far. The company plans to first test the platform in smaller markets. Those in the U.S. may have to wait even longer, as testing in the U.S. is not in its current plans.

How is TikTok Notes Different from Instagram?

Although the site is not live yet, one main difference will be that TikTok Notes will be a separate extension of the original TikTok platform, taking care of the bulk of the photo posts while the main app proceeds to focus on short video content. In its beginning stages, it will likely be prepopulated with all of the photos TikTok users have already opted-in to have shared on the platform.

Platform Audience Challenges

According to Sensor Tower data, the TikTok craze has been slowing down. TikTok was passed up as the top downloaded app globally by Instagram, which experienced a 20% increase in downloads compared to the previous year. Meanwhile, TikTok's downloads only rose by 4% during the same timeframe. Instagram also still has a wide reach across several countries, while TikTok continues to face government bans that limit its reach, meaning it may be a little more difficult for TikTok Notes to catch on to such a large audience.

What Does this Mean for Brands?

The development of TikTok Notes opens up new avenues for brands to engage with their audience and explore more visual storytelling. With a new potentially popular platform on the rise, brands can diversify their content strategy and use this as an opportunity to reach audiences in more innovative ways. Additionally, the platform's integration with TikTok's existing audience may allow those already using TikTok for advertising to easily access more cross-promotion opportunities.

How can Brands Leverage this New App?

TikTok Notes opens up another opportunity for brands to take advantage to further increase their advertising, reach, and connections with their community. While Instagram may remain the more popular platform for the time being, TikTok still holds a large following. The new extension of the platform will also likely carry over many of those same audience members, creating additional marketing opportunities. For brands that have already been using TikTok to create photo and video posts of their content, TikTok Notes may be another platform that may easily allow users to recycle the same content with the click of a button. This offers a new way to interact with your audience in an easy way as an extension of a platform with already high engagement levels.

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