TikTok Confirms Pilot Test of TikTok Stories
Twitter may have shut down its Stories features known as Fleets, but the Stories format will continue on other social platforms. TikTok today confirmed it is piloting a new feature, TikTok Stories, which will allow it to explore additional ways for its community to bring its creative ideas to life.
The company notes the new feature will be another option, in addition to its existing storytelling tools like videos, Duets, Stitch, and LIVE — it’s not meant to replace them. TikTok didn’t say how long the pilot test would run or whether it would result in a public launch.
However, it is understood the test has been running for several days, not weeks or months. It is available in a small handful of non-U.S. markets for the time being, with the goal of gaining insight and feedback from TikTok users. Users should be warned that the current set of features may or may not make it to the public product.
The feature was discovered by social media consultant Matt Navarra, who is often among the first to find new features in social apps. In this case, he tells us that several tipsters brought screenshots of TikTok Stories to him, but it was initially unclear whether or not it was a hoax.
The timing, of course, was somewhat suspect, Twitter had just shut down Fleets in what was a fairly high-profile example of a failure to make Stories work on a social platform, despite their popularity on other popular apps, like Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, and even, as of late, Pinterest.
Where TikTok’s version of Stories differentiates itself is that it allows users to comment publicly on the creator’s content. These comments are public, the app explains, as mutual friends can see each other’s comments. There is also another tab where you can see how many people viewed a given Story, and whether or not you’re following those users. A button will allow you to click to follow people back if you choose.
To view Stories from other creators, you can scroll through the new sidebar and tap on the creator’s avatar to watch their content. This almost looks like a vertical version of Twitter’s Fleets bar, even down to the blue rings around creators’ profile photos.
The addition of Stories offers TikTok users who don’t post with regularity (or at all) an easier way to start engaging with TikTok’s tools by getting started with a more comfortable and familiar format. It can also provide creators with a way to interact casually with fans in between their more polished and edited TikTok video posts.