TikTok Stories: Here's Everything We Know About TikTok's Latest Pilot

By Jessica Worb

Published August 6, 2021

4 minute read

TikTok is piloting TikTok Stories — a new way to share creative content on the popular platform.


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TikTok is piloting TikTok Stories — a new way to share creative content on the popular platform.

Mirroring many of Instagram Stories’ features, a select group of TikTok users will be able to post short-lived, “vanishing” content to the platform for the first time.

Here’s everything you need to know about TikTok Stories:

What Are TikTok Stories?

TikTok has announced they are piloting their own version of Stories -- an additional avenue for users to share creative content that will disappear after 24 hours.

If you’ve spent any time on social media, you’ll recognize this isn’t a new concept.

Since the birth of stories on Snapchat in 2013, many platforms have taken inspiration and created their own forms of Stories: Instagram Stories, YouTube Shorts, the short lived Twitter Fleets, and now: TikTok Stories.

As a TikTok spokesperson explained to Variety, “we’re always thinking about new ways to bring value to our community and enrich the TikTok experience. Currently we’re experimenting with ways to give creators additional formats to bring their creative ideas to life for the TikTok community.”

But, what makes TikTok Stories different from the other platforms?

The main difference is that users can publicly comment on Stories and see who has viewed Stories content.

Rather than a list of private story views and replies going straight to a DM, TikTok Stories will show user comments on the story itself alongside an additional tab where users can see who viewed any given story.

This clear differentiator that will be a major game changer for brands and users on the app -- it opens up the door for more engagement transparency and two-way conversations in Stories.

How to Get Access to TikTok Stories 

Looking to try out TikTok Stories for yourself? Hang tight, they haven’t been fully rolled out yet!

The good news is that TikTok confirmed a “small pilot test of the feature is already underway in a number of countries outside the U.S.” with the goal to gain insight and feedback from its users.

However, since this is such a small pilot and test group, it’s unclear whether or not TikTok Stories will make it to the general public.

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How to Post to TikTok Stories

If you have access to TikTok Stories, congratulations!

To share a TikTok Stories post, follow these simple steps:

  1. Tap the camera button from the new navigation bar on the left-hand side of the screen. You can either record videos on the spot or upload photos and videos from your camera roll.

  2. Personalize your story by using TikTok’s regular tools like sounds, effects, text, or stickers.

  3. Upload your story.

You’ll know if a TikTok user has a story live if they have a blue ring around their profile picture. You can press on their profile picture to view their story.

TikTok is also making it easy for you to consume story content. All of the Stories from the accounts you follow will live in one place on the app. Rather than at the top of the screen like on Instagram, you’ll find them in a newly added slide-over sidebar:

Credit: @amanfirdaus

How to Use TikTok Stories to Build Community 

TikTok Stories can be a great tactic to increase your engagement and build an even stronger TikTok community.

Think of them as a way to engage further with your existing community, rather than only aiming to reach new audiences through viral videos.

While the TikTok For You Page shows users content from all accounts on TikTok, the story panel will only show Stories from accounts users follow -- and this is major!

Because they disappear after 24 hours, if users don’t follow you, they may miss out on your content. So, it’s important to encourage people to follow you on TikTok so they never miss a story from you.

Not sure what type of content to share on TikTok Stories? Here are a few ideas:

  • Exclusive behind the scenes content

  • Q&As

  • Day-to-day activities

  • Promo codes

  • Tips and Tutorials

  • Announcements

Ready to get more out of TikTok? Join Later’s 10-day Challenge to learn how to use TikTok and create videos that get tons of views!

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