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TikTok May Be Launching A New Photo App & It Sounds A Lot Like IG

For those who are tired of downloading yet another new social media app, boy, do I have some news for you… From its position as a catalyst for launching wildly popular trends to its highly specific algorithm, TikTok has proven time and time again that when it comes to other social media platforms, it’s just built different. But now, TikTok is reportedly testing out a new app, and it actually sounds *quite* similar to what Instagram’s got going on. 

According to an April 9 report from Forbes, this new app is expected to launch as TikTok Notes. But what is TikTok Notes, exactly? Well, so far, there’s not too much info about it yet. However, Forbes reports the app will be strictly for photos, similar to the “carousel” feature that already exists on the video-sharing app. Already, TikTok users who have recently attempted to share photos via the standard TikTok carousel have begun receiving pop-up notifications prompting them to have their photos posted on TikTok Notes (with the option of opting out if they don’t want to). Basically, this looks like it’ll be a cross-posting situation, in which videos and carousel posts can still be seen on the OG TikTok app, but only photos will be on TikTok Notes.

I know what ya’ll are thinking: Another app? And trust me, I understand. (Raise your hand if you’re still not over the IG Threads versus Twitter/X of it all.) But according to Modern Retail, TikTok decision-makers believe carousel posts perform better than the traditional videos, and have reportedly stated in messages to creators that photo posts bring in more likes and engagement that video posts, which could be beneficial for creators seeking engagement and brand awareness. In addition to this, a TikTok photo app allows creators who aren’t keen on making videos to opt for pictures instead as a form of content creation. (For my fellow shy girls, this is a big deal.)

According to Today.com, there are no public plans for TikTok Notes to launch or even begin testing in the U.S., which may have to do with the potential ban the app is currently facing in this country. However, TikTok already has a prominent presence in the social media space, with over 1 billion users worldwide, so I suspect a lot of users will use the new platform if and/or when it officially rolls out. 

Does all this mean Instagram users should be worried about their OG photo-sharing app? As social media marketing expert Keenya Kelly shared in a TikTok video, TikTok Notes’ focus on photo-sharing certainly feels like vintage Instagram, when all the app did was share photos. By bringing this format back, TikTok just may become a bigger rival to Instagram than ever — but only time will tell.

Tyra Alexander is a National Writer for Her Campus, primarily writing about life, experiences, and academics. She is also Editor In Chief at her campus chapter at Loyola University Maryland. Beyond Her Campus, Tyra is a Sophomore English Major and communications minor. She is the Head Nonfiction Editor for her campus' literary art magazine, Corridors and is Senior Copy Editor for her school's newspaper, The Greyhound News. In her free time, Tyra can be found reading a romance book (or two), dancing with her university’s dance company, or watching vlogs by her favorite YouTubers. She is a big fan of R&B and pop, with her favorite artists being Victoria Monét, Beyoncé, and Ariana Grande.