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TikTok has slapped a proverbial glove across the face of Instagram, in retaliation for IG copying all of its stuff, with the addition of a new ‘Photo Mode’ for still images in the app.

TikTok Photo Mode

As you can see in this example, Photo Mode looks exactly like Instagram, with users able to post carousels of still images that users can scroll through in the app.

As per TikTok:

“Photo Mode allows you to share carousel posts of still images that automatically display one after another. You can add music to soundtrack the images, which viewers can swipe through at their own pace.”

Which doesn’t seem to make a heap of sense on TikTok – but then again, maybe it’ll open up new creative options and use cases which will enhance the overall offering of the app.

You can already imagine how it could spark new trends, like before and after shots of a night out, or maybe carousels of memes that will provide another way to reach an audience.

But mostly, it just seems like TikTok raising a middle finger to IG, which continues to try and replicate TikTok in an effort to hold onto its audience.

TikTok’s also added some new editing tools to make it easier to refine your clips before posting.

TikTok editing tools update

It’s also officially announced its longer captions, with creators now having up to 2,200 characters to accompany each clip.

Which is a big jump on the 300 characters you had been allowed for video descriptions previously, which also plays into the app’s growing value as a discovery platform, particularly for younger users.

Indeed, Google itself recently noted that almost 40% of young people now use TikTok and Instagram for search, instead of Google.

Whether that’s Google trying to play up competition in the space, or a real trend, it does seem that TikTok is now playing an increasing role in discovery, and having more characters in video descriptions allows for more keywords, more search matching, etc.

TikTok has been rolling out longer descriptions to users over the past month.

Each new element has potential, and it’ll be interesting to see how people adjust to image carousels, in particular, in the app.