Mastering emerging features is the best way to stay ahead of the curve with social media. By being an early adopter, you have an edge on your competition when the feature takes off. TikTok has been quietly rolling out and expanding TikTok Stories–short, segmented videos that serve as TikTok’s answer to popular story features on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.

Since this feature hasn’t been heavily publicized, there’s untapped potential for marketers who take advantage of Stories. With short-form video being 2.5x more engaging for audiences, TikTok Stories are another tool in your arsenal.

A graph that reads "The most engaging types of in-feed social content." The most popular content type is short-form video, with 66%. The results are from the 2022 Sprout Social Index™.

This guide will tell you everything you need to know about TikTok’s new Story feature.

What are TikTok Stories?

TikTok Stories are video segments lasting up to 15 seconds. They stay visible for 24 hours after posting, like other platform’s story features. Your story will be featured as an in-feed post with a story tag in the top left corner. Every story you publish within a 24-hour period will show up as a segment in that Story post, so if you need a little longer than 15 seconds to get your message across, you can break it up.

How do TikTok Stories work?

TikTok Stories live on your profile within your standard feed. They have a blue “Story” icon in the top left corner to differentiate them. If a viewer navigates to your page and you have a Story up, your profile picture will be encircled in a blue clickable ring that’ll direct them straight to your story. Your followers will see your TikTok Story in their For You page in the same way they’d see your regular videos. When it comes to interaction, the options are the same as a traditional TikTok post. Viewers can like, comment and share your Story in the same way they’d interact with a standard feed post.

How to post a TikTok Story

If you want to try your hand at TikTok Stories, look no further. We’ll show you how to create one from start to finish.

Navigate to the TikTok Story creator screen

Click the plus icon in the TikTok app. You can film stories natively so there’s no need to film ahead of time. Swipe along the bottom bar to Stories. If it’s not there, remember that TikTok Stories are relatively new and might not be available in your region yet. You can also try updating your app.

Screenshot of where to start posting a TikTok story from the app

Choose your time limit

Click the Timer icon on the left sidebar. You can drag the bar to set your time limit to between one and 15 seconds. You can also decide between a three second or a 10 second countdown at this stage.

Screenshot of how to set a TikTok Story time limit and recording countdown

Create your content

TikTok Stories have all the effects, filters and transitions a normal in-feed post would, so get creative/ Once you’ve filmed your video, you’ll have options to shrink the video size, add stickers, effects and filters, or add voiceover. You can also edit the sound for your TikTok Story.

Screenshot of stickers that can be added to TikTok Stories

Post your TikTok Story

Click the “Next” button. From that screen, you can tag people, add captions, hashtags, locations, mentions or video credits, edit your privacy settings, and choose the cover for your post. Click the “Post” button and you’re on your way.

Screenshot of posting a TikTok Story from the app
Screenshot of how to finalize and post a TikTok Story

How to delete TikTok Stories

Your TikTok Story will stay up for 24 hours, but if that feels a little too long for you or you don’t like how your video turned out, you can take it down at any time. Navigate to your profile and click on the Story. Press the three dot button in the bottom of the sidebar. Swipe to the very end of the bottom list of options until you see a delete option. Click it and your Story will be deleted.

Screenshot of how to delete a TikTok Story

Building community with TikTok Stories

Of course, social media is about building an audience. TikTok Stories offer a new way to increase engagement and build community among your fanbase. Since the Story panel will only display stories from accounts users are following, the feature provides a way to enhance connections with users already interested in your content.

The strategy you apply to traditional TikTok content (especially if you’re aiming for broad awareness) won’t necessarily translate to TikTok Stories. The following are a few ideas to encourage interaction with this new format:

  • Publish exclusive content they can’t find anywhere else
  • Offer promo codes
  • Conduct a Q&A
  • Give followers a behind-the-scenes look at your daily activities
  • Make announcements
  • Offer tricks, hacks and tips

Be prepared for emerging features

The more social media matures, the more we’ll see platforms get creative with new features to help brands and creators connect with their audience. Getting familiar with them early on is the best way to prevent your social marketing from stagnating. Plus, platforms tend to prioritize content from accounts that use the full spectrum of their features. Implementing TikTok Stories into your content strategy is a win all around.

Just getting started with TikTok or looking to expand your presence on the app? Find out more about the latest TikTok trends marketers should be paying attention to.