Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter have all been chasing TikTok’s domination in short-form video for some time now. But while its competitors focus on short-form video, TikTok has made the unexpected pivot to photography.
The wildly popular short video app has directly taken on Instagram with the announcement of its new “Photo Mode” feature.
With Instagram barely recognizable from its roots as a photo-sharing app and with Generation Z using TikTok as their new space to post their pictures anyway, is it time to start sharing photos on TikTok instead?
Here is your guide on how to use TikTok’s new Photo Mode Feature.
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What is the New Photo Mode on TikTok?
TikTok introduced its new Photo Mode in a brief blog post on Thursday.
“For when you’d prefer to express yourself in formats other than video, we released Photo Mode, a new carousel format available on mobile for photo content that’s ideal for sharing high-quality images on TikTok,” explains the company.
The new feature allows users to share a photo or multiple photos in a post on TikTok alongside music and a caption that can be up to 2,200 characters long.
Photo Mode looks almost identical to Instagram, with TikTok users able to upload still photos standalone or as part of a carousel format.
Your TikTok followers can view the carousel you post through Photo Mode at their own pace by simply swiping through the images featured and the pictures will “automatically display one after another.” Photo posts also appear in the “For You” feed on the TikTok app alongside the usual vertical short video content.
TikTok’s Photo Mode does have one feature that differentiates it from a standard post on Instagram: users have the ability to add music to a Photo Mode post. And TikTok users have been taking to Twitter to show how this new music feature allows them to make more creative photo content.
— Jessie Perlo (@perl0r) October 6, 2022
Photo Mode differs from TikTok Templates, which allows users to upload images that transition between each other as a video post.
How Do I Share Photos on TikTok?
If you are used to sharing photos on Instagram, then using TikTok’s Photo Mode should be fairly straightforward.
To access Photo Mode, launch the TikTok app and select the “+” icon to create a new post. Click “Upload” and then select an image or multiple images from your camera roll to upload on TikTok.
TikTok will then give you the option to “Switch to photo mode,” which turns the images into a carousel post.
TikTok will automatically add music to soundtrack your images The app appears to automatically select the songs “Unholy” by Sam Smith & Kim Petras or “B.O.T.A (Baddest of Them All)” by Eliza Rose and Interplanetary Criminal as the chosen sound for your carousel post).
However, you can change the music and edit the images using the available tools on TikTok Photo Mode. You can add a different sound, apply filters, turn on enhance for photos, and add stickers or text to your carousel.
There are filters available in four different categories: portrait, landscape, food, and vibe. For example, in the food category, you can choose between filters such as “Fresh”, “Tasty, “Brew,” and “Sizzle”. Meanwhile in the vibe category, you can select from filters like “Tonal”, “Pewter,” and “Fade.”
In stickers, you can choose to add emojis, stickers, and GIFs to your post.
There is also the ability to crop your photos to a 9:16, 3:4, 1:1, or 4:3 ratio.
Once you’ve edited your photos, you’ll be sent to the final page before you can post your carousel. On this page, you can choose to describe your post in a caption of up to 2,200 characters, add hashtags, mention other TikTok creators, and tag people. You can choose who can see your photo post and select whether you want to allow duets, comments, and stitches on your carousel.
Finally, you can share the slideshow and it will be available to your followers and other TikTok users if you have a public account.
Is TikTok’s Photo Mode Available For Everyone?
TikTok started rolling out the Photo Mode to users in the United States and other regions globally on Thursday. The feature is currently only available on Android and iOS TikTok apps. Images shared to Photo Mode are not yet visible on the browser-based version of the service and can only be seen while using the app.
If you are unable to see Photo Mode available on your device yet, make sure you are using the latest version of the TikTok app. To do this, you need to head over to Apple’s App Store or Google Play Store and see if there is an update available for TikTok. If there isn’t an update available yet, uninstall the app from your device.
Now, switch off your device and turn it back on after a couple of seconds. Once done, go to the store and install TikTok. You should be able to use the new Photo Mode on the app now.