Will TikTok Launch A New Instagram Rival App?

There are conversations online stirring that TikTok wants to expand its offerings to beyond its video content. It has been reported that TikTok is in the works of launching TikTok Notes, a new platform for photo sharing. This would then place them in direct competition with long time photo sharing leaders, Instagram.

This is not a new trend in the social media and tech spaces, though. Last year, Instagram extended its medium to compete with long time text social media platform, now known as X. Their Threads app also caused a big stir, and throughout last year had its ups and downs. What will be the case for TikTok’s app?

What Is TikTok Notes, And Why Are They Launching It?

TikTok Notes is TikTok’s latest innovation that will be a totally separate application that is designed exclusively for photo posts. This new platform will showcase both existing and future public photo posts shared on TikTok, extending their influence into the world of still images.

TikTokers came across a notification on the app saying that “TikTok Notes is set to transform the way we share and interact with photos online.”

TikTok’s decision to launch a dedicated photo app, TikTok Notes, is multifaceted. Firstly, it represents a strategic expansion into new forms of social media, increasing and expanding TikTok’s appeal beyond its usual videos.

The new idea is also a response to changing market dynamics, specifically with Instagram’s focus now moving towards video content and online shopping, as stated by Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri. It has also been reported that TikTok is doing this to leverage the success of photo-sharing in the Chinese market, where platforms like Xiaohongshu have thrived.

How Will TikTok Notes Work?

TikTok Notes will function as a standalone app, where users can share and view photos. Building on the popularity of TikTok’s “photo mode” introduced in 2022, the app is designed to enhance user engagement through still images. TikTok has been encouraging users to post photos, promising greater reach and engagement compared to videos.

The launch of TikTok Notes is expected to further incentivise photo sharing, with the app automatically incorporating users’ existing and future public photo posts from TikTok. Users will have the option to opt-out of this cross-posting feature, to keep their right to control over their content’s visibility.


How Successful Will This Be With Obstacles Considered?

Given the saturated market of social media platforms and TikTok’s core identity as a video-sharing app, the success of TikTok Notes hinges on quite a few factors:

Facing Off Against Instagram: Entering a space where Instagram has long reigned, TikTok Notes must carve out a niche that offers something Instagram does not, or do it better, to attract and retain users.

User Reluctance for New Apps: With an array of social media platforms already available, convincing users to download and actively use another app presents a considerable task. TikTok Notes needs to clearly communicate its value to potential users.

Video to Photo Switch: Known predominantly for videos, TikTok’s pivot to include a focus on photos may confuse users or dilute its brand. This strategy requires TikTok to tread carefully, ensuring users see TikTok Notes as an extension of its creative ecosystem rather than a departure.

Mixed Success of Past Ventures: Previous attempts by TikTok to expand into new areas have shown that success is not guaranteed. Learning from these experiences will be key to making TikTok Notes a platform users embrace.

Regulatory Issues and Hiccups: Ongoing discussions around TikTok’s operations in various countries, especially the US, add a layer of uncertainty to the launch and growth of TikTok Notes. Staying agile and compliant with local laws will be crucial.

Adapting to Market and User Trends: Understanding and adapting to the latest trends in social media will be vital. With its growth slowing, especially in the US, TikTok must ensure TikTok Notes resonates with current user demands and social media consumption patterns.

These challenges are being considered, and it would be interesting to see what ends up happening. We’re all waiting in anticipation for the official announcement from the social media platform.