TikTok’s usually the platform to beat when it comes to new features. Still, in September, the indisputable rise of BeReal proved that sometimes, even ByteDance can take a few tips from the competition.

Here’s what happened on TikTok in September:

TikTok launches its very own BeReal clone

TikTok has launched a new time-based dual camera feature called TikTok Now.

TikTok Now sends users daily prompts to capture and share real-time updates using their front and back cameras.


Source: TikTok

We’re used to seeing other platforms copy TikTok, but this latest update marks the first time the platform’s had to play catchup. TikTok Now is essentially identical to BeReal, with a few minor differences:

  • More time to share. BeReal gives users just two minutes to take and share their photos, while TikTok Now allows up to three minutes.
  • Post photo or video updates. BeReal only allows users to share static photos, but TikTok Now users can share photos or 10-second videos.

BeReal’s explosive growth in 2022 has every major social network scrambling to keep up. This latest update from TikTok makes them just the latest platform attempting to capitalize on BeReal’s runaway success by copying the app’s main feature.

But unlike Instagram, whose Candid Challenges feature remains in testing, TikTok’s managed to launch its copycat feature in record time.

From mockups shared by the platform, it looks like TikTok is betting big on the new feature. The TikTok Now button appears in the bottom navigation bar, right next to the Post button, and replaces the Friends tab.

U.S. users should have access to TikTok Now soon, but the platform says to expect changes over the next few weeks as they learn more about how their users adopt the new feature.

TikTok’s video descriptions can now be up to 2,200 characters long

It’s time to polish up your social SEO skills: TikTok’s video descriptions just got a whole lot longer.

TikTok has increased the maximum length of video descriptions from 300 characters to 2,200, according to an update first shared by social media consultant Matt Navarra.

TikTok says that the additional space can be used to “express more details about your creations, describing what your videos show, giving you the opportunity to get closer to your audience, generating more engagement while becoming more searchable and better recommended by TikTok to viewers.”

This update, like the launch of the Nearby tab, follows other news that indicates TikTok, not Google, has become Gen Z’s search engine of choice.

Expanding the length of video descriptions allows creators to include more details and keywords that will improve their content’s discoverability in search. This, in combination with TikTok’s famously powerful content curation engine, would allow the platform to deliver highly relevant and personalized search results.

TikTok users can now downvote comments

After months of testing, TikTok introduced a new downvote option that makes it simple for users to flag “irrelevant or inappropriate” comments.

While TikTok users have long been able to report comments that violate the platform’s community guidelines, the new downvote is meant to help TikTok’s moderators identify negative behavior that’s more annoying than harmful.

The thumbs-down icon will appear on the far right of each comment, right next to the heart icon.

Unlike hearts, though, TikTok won’t display the number of negative votes. Instead, only the person doing the downvoting will be able to see that they’ve done so, and they can easily remove their downvote by clicking the icon again.

TikTok isn’t the first social platform to experiment with downvotes as moderation tools.

Facebook has tested a similar feature for years, though public downvotes on a platform struggling to combat a reputation for targeted misinformation have never quite taken off.

Twitter’s more recent tests of private downvotes, on the other hand, are still in progress, and Reddit’s public downvotes are one of the platform’s most important tools.