TikTok users can now post text-only content, a departure for the social media app known for its short videos.
The new format has been the latest change to the social media landscape after Twitter rebranded itself as X on Sunday and Meta introduced the new text-based social media app, Threads, this month.
TikTok announced the change in a blog post on Monday night, though some users said that they first had access to the text-only format in June.
“With text posts, we’re expanding the boundaries of content creation for everyone on TikTok, giving the written creativity we’ve seen in comments, captions, and videos a dedicated space to shine,” the company’s blog post said.
The feature allows users to post without the background visuals, such as videos and photos, for which TikTok is known. There did not appear to be a separate name for the text post feature.
Before the new format was introduced, users could type text over video and image posts as well as in captions and comments. Some people would create their own text-only posts by sharing screenshots of text-focused content from outside of TikTok, including from other social media apps and text message conversations.
The TikTok text posts can be customized the same way that video and photo posts are, using music, background colors and stickers. People can also tag other users and add hashtags. Text posts can be up to 1,000 characters long, a TikTok spokesperson said in an email. The app will continue to limit video descriptions to 2,200 characters and comments to 150 characters, the company said.
TikTok, which is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, gained popularity with its visual- and audio-focused content, including the short videos of people dancing and performing skits that became synonymous with the app in its early days.
More than one billion people use the app each month, including 150 million people in the United States, according to TikTok, though access to it has been restricted by some local and national governments because of security concerns.
The new TikTok format comes in the wake of other major changes by the most popular social media companies.
This week, Elon Musk rebranded Twitter to X and has started replacing the company’s trademark bird logo with a new letter logo both online and at the company’s headquarters. Last July, Twitter said it had over 237 million daily active users.
Meta, the company that owns Instagram and Facebook, unveiled Threads, its Twitter competitor, this month. Posts are text-focused, but users can also share videos and photos.
Less than a week after its debut, Meta said that more than 100 million people had signed up for Threads. It is not clear yet if this early success will be sustained.
Threads was introduced during a time of upheaval for Twitter, which has undergone significant changes since Mr. Musk bought it last year.
Amanda Holpuch is a general assignment reporter. More about Amanda Holpuch
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