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TikTok rivals Twitter with new text format

TikTok, the social platform known for its addictive video content, announced Monday that it will offer text-only posts.

TikTok, whose parent company ByteDance is Chinese, is under pressure on both sides of the Atlantic. — © AFP Punit PARANJPE
TikTok, whose parent company ByteDance is Chinese, is under pressure on both sides of the Atlantic. — © AFP Punit PARANJPE

TikTok, the social platform known for its addictive video content, announced Monday that it will offer text-only posts, becoming the latest tech giant to offer an alternative to embattled Twitter.

The text posts on TikTok will most closely resemble similar offerings on Instagram, which earlier this month also launched a challenge to Twitter — which owner Elon Musk renamed X —  called Threads.

Like Meta-owned Threads, TikTok benefits from its size, with around 1.4 billion monthly active users, according to specialist site Business of Apps.

But unlike Facebook’s parent company, it has chosen to integrate its new text-only feature into its app rather than launch a separate product, as Meta did with Threads.

TikTok is branching into text-only posts, offering a new alternative to Twitter, which has been rebranded as X

TikTok is branching into text-only posts, offering a new alternative to Twitter, which has been rebranded as X – Copyright AFP/File Patrick T. Fallon

TikTok’s version will remain more visual than a Twitter or Threads post, with users able to add a color background, music and stickers to the post.

The Chinese-owned company said the new format will expand “boundaries of content creation for everyone on TikTok” and tap into the “creativity” seen in comments and captions, the company said.

In addition to Threads, smaller platforms such as Mastodon, Bluesky and Substack Notes have emerged as potential rivals to Twitter, but none have so far dethroned it despite its troubles.

Musk last week said Twitter has lost roughly half of its advertising revenue, leaving an opportunity for the challengers.

AFP
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