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TikTok Enters Instagram’s Territory With Photo App ‘Notes’ Amid Social Media Copycat War (1)


TikTok Enters Instagram’s Territory With Photo App ‘Notes’ Amid Social Media Copycat War

TikTok aims to challenge Instagram’s dominance in photo-sharing by launching a new app called “Notes.” 

TheSpaAndroid first broke the story in March, claiming TikTok was working on a photo app to compete with Instagram. As X user Alex Friedman noticed on Monday, the short-video platform notified some users that their photo posts would automatically be shared on “Notes” unless they said otherwise.

The move represents the latest escalation in the “copycat” skirmish between social media giants that duplicate each other’s features. In 2020, Instagram debuted Reels, mirroring TikTok’s popular short-video format. The latter is now venturing into Instagram’s territory with a dedicated photo app.

“The copycat phenomenon runs rampant across social media platforms,” Forrester Research Director Mike Proulx told the BBC. He cited Instagram’s success co-opting Snapchat’s “Stories” feature as an example of imitation paying dividends, though X’s attempt to create a Snapchat copycat – Fleets — faltered.

Keeping its cards close to its chest, TikTok has not revealed the final design or release timing of “Notes.” However, notifications suggest that the app will allow users to upload photo posts, a feature currently enabled in TikTok’s main app. “Notes” will also offer added filters and sounds. A toggle will allow users to opt out of sharing their existing photo posts on the new app.

Social media consultant Matt Navarra told the BBC that “Notes” could be the critical ingredient for TikTok to engage its vast “lurker” audience of passive viewers.

The launch comes amid tumultuous times for TikTok’s Chinese parent company, ByteDance. Recent U.S. legislation threatens to ban TikTok unless it is sold within six months due to data security concerns.

“Launching Notes as a separate app would be a departure in strategy for TikTok…but it makes sense given the current regulatory and consumer scrutiny,” Insider Intelligence analyst Jasmine Enberg told the BBC. “There are few places left where it doesn’t have a stronghold, and photo-sharing is one.”

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David Adler is an entrepreneur and freelance blog post writer who enjoys writing about business, entrepreneurship, travel and the influencer marketing space.

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