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Instagram’s newest rival TikTok Notes is moving in for the kill

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Instagram’s newest rival TikTok Notes is moving in for the kill

TikTok Notes logo

A cryptic notification shared by TikTok with its users has sparked interest online as the platform teases its next move. The message reads: “TikTok Notes, a new app for photo posts, is coming soon! Your existing and future public TikTok photo posts will be shown on TikTok Notes.”

TikTok continues to attract news headlines and it’s of major concern to the video social media platform’s 170 million American users. The US House of Representatives passed a bill on 13 March that could lead to a US ban of TikTok if owner ByteDance doesn’t divest from the app.

We’ve seen big changes in the social media industry over the past few years, with Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover and rebranding to X and Meta’s launch of Threads to capitalise on X’s fleeing audience.

Whether TikTok Notes launches as a standalone service or follows suit with Threads by using Instagram’s expansive database to draw in users, we know there are many challenges ahead.

Threads saw an incredible immediate spike in user creation upon launch – amassing more than 100 million accounts in just five days, but after just a few months, engagement is down 79 percent, with only 1.6 million active daily US users as of February 2024.

If TikTok Notes decides to copy Meta’s logic, it will have 1.7 billion prospective users at its fingertips.

Expert dialogue

Forrester VP research director Mike Proulx says while TikTok is yet to announce a release date, the Instagram rival could be launched soon.

“The notification TikTok users received makes it sound all but certain that TikTok Notes will have an imminent launch. It comes at a precarious time for the app where we’re seeing TikTok usage begin to plateau while Reels usage increases,” says Proulx. “This is exacerbated by TikTok’s uncertain future in the US as creators scurry to diversify their presence on alternative platforms.”

TikTok Notes notification

Proulx says it will be a challenge for TikTok to amass a user base at scale from scratch if TikTok Notes is launched as a standalone app. “But if TikTok uses Meta’s playbook for Threads, it can mobilise its existing users as a means to onboard them to the new app,” he says. “But like Threads, the key will be creating a compelling enough experience to get them to stick around TikTok Notes beyond the initial curiosity factor.”

Proulx says “the copycat phenomenon” is rampant across social media platforms and, when done right, can pay off.

When Instagram copied Snapchat with its ‘stories’ feature, it eventually became more popular than Instagram’s feed. But copying a similar ‘stories’ feature didn’t work out when Twitter did the same. The platform eventually sunsetted its version in August 2021.

“When social media features all start to become ubiquitous, what differentiates one social media platform from another narrows,” Proulx says. “It comes down to community, user experience, and, yes, algorithms.”

When can we expect a launch?

WhileTikTok Notes’ release date is still unknown, the platform is yet to publicly comment on the launch.

“As part of our continued commitment to innovating the TikTok experience, we’re exploring ways to empower our community to create and share their creativity with photos and text in a dedicated space for those formats,” TikTok said in a statement.

Only time will tell if the platform can truly take on Instagram, or if just like Meta’s latest launch – the thread is too weak to hold.

Lead image attributed to Marketing Mag.
Photography attributed to Social Media Today.

Also, read more about the US bill that could lead to the ban of TikTok.


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Billy Klein

Billy Klein is a junior content producer at Niche Media.

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