TikTok introduces “in the moment” spontaneity with TikTok Now.
TikTok has announced a new feature that might look familiar to users of viral photo-sharing app BeReal. TikTok’s “TikTok Now” works almost identically to BeReal: the app sends users a push notification that prompts them to snap a photo or 10-second video to capture what’s happening at that moment. If you post within three minutes of the alert (on BeReal, it’s a two-minute timer), your post says you were “on time,” but posting outside of that window will say you posted late.
The company says the feature “brings the authenticity of TikTok to a whole new creative experience that connects you with those closest to you.” TikTok is pushing the functionality heavily, and in some regions, the company says TikTok Now may be available as a standalone app.
“We’re experimenting with TikTok Now over the coming weeks,” the company’s announcement reads. “In the US, TikTok Now can be accessed from the TikTok app. In other regions, TikTok Now may be available as a new TikTok Now app, too. We’ll continue to enhance the user experience as we learn more about how the TikTok community embraces this new creative format.”
TikTok Now includes some privacy-focused limitations for the feature aimed at protecting minors. Users under 16 will find their TikTok Now standalone app accounts private by default, and those under 18 cannot share their content on the Explore feed. Additionally, users between the ages of 13 and 15 will have commenting options limited to Friends Only. Users aged 18 and over can opt into making their TikTok Now content viewable to anyone.
While its popularity has only recently exploded this year, BeReal initially launched back in 2019. But now that it’s become the new “it girl” of the social photo and video sharing world, BeReal has started seeing its share of copycats.
Instagram’s Candid Challenges, a prototype feature in the works, functions almost the same. Instagram and YouTube have copied TikTok’s short-form video format, but TikTok Now is the company’s first blatant venture into copying one of its competitors.