TikTok, the app of choice for teens today, is adding another tool to its arsenal: stickers. The short-form video app owned by Bytedance is joining forces with Giphy. Users can add GIF stickers to their videos by simply hitting a button. Many of the stickers are inspired by memes that started on the platform itself, such as the expression "Here's the Tea" or the Blanco Brown-coined #thegitup.
For TikTok, any new features will continue to give it an edge over its competitors. The Chinese app last year outpaced Snapchat and Instagram in number of downloads. The partnership between TikTok and Giphy makes sense, although the 2D stickers join a crowded field of visual editing tools on the platform. Users can already add Snapchat-like "effects" that include everything from bubbles to strobe lights to augmented reality paintbrushes. Users can look like they're in a black and white film or peeking out of an airplane window's bleed hole. There are even Instagram-like filters that enhance beauty, add a Valencia-like tint to videos or are specifically made for food.
TikTok, in its current iteration, not only has all the creative tools that rose to fame on older platforms -- it has arguably outdone them. Still, users seem to use the new features sparingly. Unlike Snapchat (or at one point Instagram), the main star of TikTok doesn't seem to be the filters and visual effects, but the users themselves. While dog ear filters or a"LOL" sticker may have seemed novel in 2015, social media lovers likely see them as old hat in 2019.
Another side of the partnership will be welcome news for older users who use Giphy on Slack or Facebook. TikTok-inspired stickers will also be available wherever the GIF library is available. So even if users feel like they've outgrown the "Panini" remix, they can join in on the fun.