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TikTok is testing a disappearing post feature called TikTok Stories. Of course, marketers will remember that this concept originated with Snapchat back in 2013. 

Since then, several other social media platforms have added “stories” to their feature lineup, but not all of them have been successful. Twitter, for example, launched “Fleets,” which gave users the ability to share a post for just 24 hours, but it shuttered the feature eight months after its launch. 

Influencer posting in front of camera

TikTok has released the feature to a handful of users outside of the U.S. Here’s what we know:

Testing the feature

TikTok hasn’t confirmed if or when the Stories feature will be available to everyone. If the new feature is a success, it may eventually provide more room for ads. For now, the experiment’s results will be evaluated to determine if creators see value in the feature.

The launch of this new feature is meant to increase engagement, generate more excitement about using the app, and keep users returning to the app again and again. 

Posting a Story on TikTok

Select users who are part of the trial run for TikTok Stories simply tap the “create” button in the sidebar to get started. 

Stories can include still images or videos from your camera roll, captions, music, stickers, text, and effects. Users can also record videos on the spot to post to Stories. A simple click uploads the post.

Viewing a Story on TikTok

Followers can see Stories on TikTok on the left slide-out sidebar. A blue ring around the profile picture will indicate when a creator has posted a Story. Simply tap on that profile to view the content. 

Viewers can react and comment on the Stories and the original poster can follow a commenter back by simply tapping on the “follow” icon.

The poster will see who has viewed their Story by looking in a separate tab near the comments section. 

Other new TikTok features for creators

A month before the Stories beta test, TikTok lengthened its video length from one minute to three minutes. That same month, the platform also added eight new features to its live-streaming capabilities, including:

Live Q&A. This suite of tools allows streamers to engage with viewers in real time. Hosts simply select, showcase, and answer a question from an audience member while broadcasting.

Top Streams. Users can now find and tune in to live videos from the For You and Following pages. TikTok plans to sort livestreams into category pages—such as Gaming, Talents, Fashion, Daily Life, and Chat (Q&A) shortly.

Assign Moderators. Creators who need help moderating can assign a person to help moderate a live stream. The host and moderator will both have block capabilities during the broadcast. They can also mute specific viewers for varying periods (5 seconds, 30 seconds, 1 minute or 5 minutes) during the broadcast or entire stream.

Harmful Comment Alert. If TikTok detects a potentially harmful comment, the user will be prompted to reconsider their remark.

Picture-in-Picture. Android and iOS users can view livestreams in a picture-in-picture format, allowing them to simultaneously use their device while the broadcast says in the bottom corner of their screen.

Keyword Filters. Creators and moderators can add up to 200 words or phrases in the keyword filter to limit those comments in the chat during a live stream. 

Go Live With a Friend. “LIVE Together” lets two users broadcast on one stream simultaneously.

Schedule in Advance. Known as “TikTok Events,” livestreams can now be scheduled, managed, and promoted in advance to build anticipation.

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