In a bid to make direct messaging more engaging, TikTok has introduced "animated video stickers" in February, confirmed by the company to TechCrunch. These video stickers, functioning similarly to GIFs, expand upon TikTok Stickers launched in December, which enabled users to create and upload custom images for direct messages.
Users can now browse popular video stickers uploaded by others or create their own. The feature, discovered by Watchful.ai, enhances the direct messaging experience on the platform. To create a video sticker, users can select the "create sticker" option in a direct message window, then choose a video from their liked, posted, or favorite videos, either their own or someone else's content.
Video-scrubbing thumbnails let users decide which part of the video to include in the sticker, with options to add text or crop the content. The final sticker can be saved to a personal library for easy access in the DM favorites tab, or added to TikTok's sticker store for other users to discover and utilize.
Creators can control video sticker permissions, preventing misuse of their content. Users can also browse top, trending, and new video stickers created and used by others.
While GIFs have been part of TikTok direct messages due to a partnership with GIPHY, this new feature allows users to share content in unique ways, such as sharing specific video parts or creating video stickers to react to friends' messages.
TikTok's move to expand its social features follows the recent revamp of its direct messaging settings, offering users more control over who can send them messages.