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TikTok’s rumored photos app could bring its Instagram rivalry full circle


TikTok faces challenges from Congress and competitors like YouTube and Instagram.
Evidence points to TikTok launching a new app called TikTok Photos for still images.
The new app could allow easy or automatic cross-posting of photos from the main TikTok platform, competing directly with Instagram.

Social media giant TikTok is facing pressure on multiple fronts, as the US congress is set to vote on a bill this week that could result in the app being banned nationwide, and there’s ongoing competition from established players, like YouTube with its Shorts feature and Instagram with Reels, who have their eyes set on TikTok’s short-form video throne. In an unexpected twist, evidence suggests TikTok could soon hit back with a new app of its own.


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Evidence emerges for a new TikTok Photos app

Code sleuth AssembleDebug, who usually monitors Google apps for hidden flags that tip upcoming features, revealed on his blog, TheSpAndroid, that several strings in the latest TikTok APK (version 33.8.4) point to the impending introduction of a new social media app called TikTok Photos. The strings promote the new app and signal that there will be interoperability with the existing app.

One string, stating “Reach other like-minded people who enjoy photo posts,” seems to indicate you’ll be able to quickly share a download link for TikTok Photos from the existing app. Another set, “Share photo posts to TikTok Photos,” and “Sync Your posts to TikTok Photos,” points to the possibility that you’ll be able to cross-post still images from the main TikTok platform to the new TikTok Photos app.

<string name=”k0l”>Open TikTok Photos</string>
<string name=”k0m”>Get TikTok Photos</string>
<string name=”k0n”>Share this post to TikTok Photos</string>
<string name=”k0o”>Share</string>
<string name=”k0p”>Your post has been shared to TikTok Photos</string>
<string name=”k0q”>TikTok Photos</string>
<string name=”k0r”>On TikTok Photos</string>
<string name=”k0s”>Share to TikTok Photos</string>
<string name=”k0u”>Reach other like-minded people who enjoy photo posts.</string>
<string name=”k0v”>Share photo posts to TikTok Photos</string>
n1:text=”Sync Your posts to TikTok Photos”
n1:text=”TikTok Photos will be launched soon, we hope to help you gain new audiences in the new app \n\n If the switch is on, we’ll sync your public photos to the new app, whether you close the pop-up or not.%s”

The last string is perhaps the most interesting, revealing that “TikTok Photos will be launched soon,” and that public photos uploaded to TikTok will get synced to the new TikTok Photos app if you have a certain setting switched on.

Meanwhile, AssembleDebug was also able to dig up a few different formats of the home screen icon for the upcoming TikTok Photos app. It uses the same coloring as the main TikTok app, but ditches the music note logo for a stylized “P” with what appears to be a photo print wrapped around its leading edge.

A selection of icons for the rumored TikTok Photos app

Source: TheSpAndroid

While users can already share photos in the existing TikTok app, the interface leaves a bit to be desired, as pictures are lumped together with videos in your feed. Having a dedicated app specifically geared towards still photography could help boost the popularity of this aspect of the platform, and it positions TikTok directly against what it likely sees as its largest competitor in Instagram.

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