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TikTok's new text post format is similar to, but not the same as, Threads and Twitter

TikTok's new text-only posts will allow users to share written content up to 1,000 characters. Users can also add music, stickers and hashtags to their text posts.
Matt Slocum
/
AP
TikTok's new text-only posts will allow users to share written content up to 1,000 characters. Users can also add music, stickers and hashtags to their text posts.

TikTok is expanding its capabilities for its more than 1 billion active users by launching a new text-based option for posts.

The social media titan announced Monday that it's "expanding the boundaries of content creation" by allowing users to share stories, poems, recipes and other written content through text posts. Users can diversify their posts by adding sounds and music, stickers and hashtags, as well as tagging locations.

"We're excited to see what our community will create with text posts, a new way to express and share your creativity on TikTok," the company said in a news release.

The expansion came the same day that Elon Musk replaced Twitter's iconic blue bird with an "X," the latest change to the billionaire's platform. Instagram launched its own text-based option earlier this month with Threads, Mark Zuckerberg's new space for public conversations.

It's unclear whether TikTok' s new feature is designed to compete in the same space as Threads or X. The text-only post allows users to publish 1,000 characters, compared to 500 characters on Threads and 280 on X. And TikTok said the new option is just another format for users to express their creativity, whereas Instagram described Threads in a news release as an app for "joining public conversations."

Meanwhile, X is supposed to be Musk's "everything app" of the future, with ambitious goals beyond providing a space for public discourse. Musk envisions the app as a platform that allows users to perform all sorts of daily tasks, like buying and selling goods and scheduling appointments.

TikTok has faced backlash recently over concerns that the app's Chinese-owned parent company, Byte Dance, could provide user data to the Chinese government. The state of Montana banned the app in May, which Gov. Greg Gianforte said was to protect residents' data from China.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Dustin Jones is a reporter for NPR's digital news desk. He mainly covers breaking news, but enjoys working on long-form narrative pieces.
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