You Can Now ‘Repost’ on TikTok (Maybe)

You Can Now ‘Repost’ on TikTok (Maybe)
Photo: XanderSt, Shutterstock

TikTok is getting a new feature that looks a bit like one we’re all familiar with. The “retweet” feature has been a staple of Twitter since the button was added in 2009. Now, TikTok is beta testing a new “repost” feature that many are calling the app’s retweet.

The feature isn’t available yet to all of TikTok’s 1 billion active users; to see if you’re part of the beta community, tap the “share” button on a TikTok video from your “For You” feed, and the new repost button will appear.

How does TikTok’s “retweet” work?

TikTok’s repost feature allows users to share videos with mutual followers with the tap of a single button. The new yellow repost button can be found in the “Share” menu for certain videos, alongside your friends’ icons. You can add a comment with the reposted video, but it won’t post as your content. The original creator will still get any likes or comments the reposted video receives. In this way, reposting is similar to retweeting on Twitter.

Only certain videos can be reposted, though. Right now, the repost feature is only available on videos that appear in the “For You” page. Videos from your “Following” feed, searches, or your inbox won’t have the option for reposting.

Unlike duets and stitching, reposting a video doesn’t require you to create your own additional content. This is part of TikTok’s motivation for adding the feature. People who use TikTok more casually or prefer not to post content themselves will enjoy its convenience.

Who can see reposted videos?

Visibility is where TikTok’s reposts differ most from Twitter’s retweets. Unlike a retweet, a repost doesn’t show up on your profile. In fact, it won’t even be visible to all of your followers. Only mutual followers can see reposted videos, meaning people you follow who also follow you back. For most of us, this includes friends and family.

This makes reposting an easy way of sharing a video with multiple friends on TikTok without having to send it to each of them individually. It appears likely this is what TikTok intends the feature to be used for, rather than promotion.

What does the repost button mean for creators?

TikTok’s retweet twin could be a great feature for creators. However, TikTok appears to have thought ahead to prevent the new repost feature from being abused. This is clearly reflected in the design.

If a creator is trying to boost their own video, reposting it over and over won’t do much good since it would just be going out to their mutual followers. The same anti-abuse design prevents bloated mutual reposting, as well, as often seen in “follow for follow” requests around social media.

Reposting does help creators, though. It allows other users to easily share and promote creators’ content. The real creator value lies in the power of their audience to spread their videos with the tap of a button.

Since TikTok’s retweet is so much easier than sending a video to individual friends, content creators could increase their reach through reposts. Increased video-sharing may help creators build a valuable brand reputation, as well, since their content can easily reach far beyond their own followers. Growth for creators could even potentially be accelerated by TikTok’s version of retweets.

While TikTok does not reveal the specifics about how their algorithm works, reposts will likely be a beneficial factor. Videos that get reposted more often may get recommended to more new users through the algorithm, especially since they are coming from “For You” pages to begin with. Just how much reposting impacts a video’s favour with the TikTok algorithm remains to be seen, though.

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