TikTok users can now post text-only content, a departure for the social media app known for its short videos.
The new format is the latest change in 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.
“With text posts, we’re pushing the boundaries of content creation for everyone on TikTok, giving the written creative 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 images, such as videos and photos, for which TikTok is known. There didn’t seem to be a separate name for the post text feature.
Before the new format was introduced, users could write 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.
TikTok text posts can be customized in the same way as video and photo posts, 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 Chinese company ByteDance, gained popularity with its visual and audio content, including the short videos of people dancing and performing skits that became synonymous with the app in its early days.
Over a billion people use the app each monthincluding 150 million people in the United States, according to TikTok, although some local and national governments have restricted access for security reasons.
TikTok’s new format comes on the heels of other major changes by the most popular social media companies.
This week, Elon Musk changed Twitter’s name to X and began replacing the company’s trademark bird logo with a new letter logo both online and at company headquarters. Last July, Twitter said it had more than 237 million daily active users.
Meta, the company that owns Instagram and Facebook, introduced Threads, its Twitter competitor, this month. Posts are text-centric, 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 yet clear if this initial success will continue.
Threads was introduced during a time of turmoil for Twitter, which has undergone significant changes since Musk bought it last year.