TikTok News: Timeline of the Network’s Evolution 

14 September 2023

TikTok has become one of the most active social media platforms so, what has contributed to its success? For one, the network continues to incorporate new features, but has it always been this way? There’s a lot more beyond the surface behind TikTok’s innovation and success. 

Do you want to know how the network has evolved? This post is for you because we will be reviewing all of TikTok’s new features and changes through the years.


  • TikTok Shop in the feed

    Since the beginning of TikTok and Shopify’s partnership, TikTok has continued to offer features that make this a complete e-commerce platform. TikTok Shop in the feed has finally arrived in the U.S. in September 2023. Through this, users can find new products and purchase items directly from the app.

    TikTok Now disappears

    Although the network claimed this to be one of the great new features, just after a year TikTok decided to remove this feature from the platform. The BeReal version of the network, TikTok Now, was given the chop, after being unsuccessful among TikTokers.

    Rules against AI

    It’s no secret that Artificial Intelligence has become a huge resource for content on social media. However, sometimes there is no way to know if your content is authentic or was created by AI. Therefore, to be transparent in the content you share on TikTok, the app encourages users to add the AI-generate content tag if they do. If the video was created with AI and the user doesn’t add this tag, the network can remove the video.

    Text-only posts

    Los usuarios podrán destacar sus mejores tweets en una nueva pestaña de su feed. Una pestaña llamada ‘highlight’ que te permitirá destacar tantos tweets como quieras. Solo disponible para usuarios de Twitter Blue.

    Video for subscribers

    Carrying on into the next year, TikTok’s subscription program continues to grow. This new addition is called, ‘Videos for subscribers’, where creators can add videos to the feed that are only visible to active subscribers.

TikTok News 2022

  • TikTok Stories

    Snapchat’s greatest success, which Instagram has also incorporated, has become one of the most-used content types, stories. TikTok decides to go for them as well, and so comes TikTok Stories. Although it hasn’t had the same success as Instagram, it has still been established as a unique way to share content on TikTok.

  • Video length increases

    In the beginning, TikTok’s main purpose was to share short-form videos, with a maximum of 180 seconds (3 minutes). However, in 2022 the network decided to extend this possible length to 10 minutes, coming after YouTube. Yet, the average length of viral videos is 41.8 seconds.

  • TikTok Shop tab

    With Shopify and TikTok’s partnership success, TikTok launched the TikTok Shop tab, which is dedicated to displaying products and items that may interest users. This tab is available to the right of the “For You” page.

  • TikTok Now

    Was BeReal a surprise? Well, actually yes, and since it was received so well by the audience, TikTok decided to also invest in this feature. Thus, the network launched its own version of BeReal, called TikTok Now. With this, the app will notify you randomly in the day to capture a photo and upload it immediately to the network.

  • TikTok Playlist

    Similar to how we see them on YouTube, playlists are useful for sorting your content into different categories. Thus, TikTok launched playlists so content creators can create their own playlists by adding related videos and adding a custom name.

  • TikTok Series

    TikTok continues to grow its monetization features to attract new users. With this in mind, the network launched TikTok Series, a way for creators to monetize their content through providing subscriptions to their fans. One Series can have up to 80 videos, with each video a maximum of 20 minutes.

  • TikTok Amplify

    Another tool and platform to generate income from TikTok videos is TikTok Amplify. This is a program that offers videos to brands that want to carry out advertising campaigns. Then with Amplify, brands can choose which videos they want to use for their ads, and the creator will receive compensation in return.

  • Live Subscription

    Last year TikTok announced Live Subscription, a monthly subscription program that allows followers to show support to their favorite TikTokers. Similar to Twitch, users who subscribe have certain advantages such as badges and personalized emojis.

TikTok News 2021

  • Partnership with Shopify

    Searching to expand the app’s features and convert this into more than just a social network, TikTok aligns with Shopify to enter the world of e-commerce. This integration would help TikTok streamline the process to become a shopping platform.v

  • TikTok Live Studio


    Live streams on TikTok turned out to be a great way to share content and connect with followers. So, TikTok created the TikTok Live Studio, a tool similar to OBS Studio, that allows you to broadcast live from your computer or TV screen. Another step towards being the total-package app.

TikTok News 2020

  • Verified accounts

    In 2020, the app started granting TikTok account verifications to the most “important” accounts, a process that has since been changed over the years. In the beginning, the app provided account verifications to a few accounts that they found “important” enough. Now, creators can send a request for TikTok to review their account and see if it meets certain requirements. 

  • TikTok Live arrives

    Today, live streams are one of the most popular content formats. During the COVID-19 pandemic, TikTok was starting to become one of the most widely used social media platforms. To facilitate “quarantine” interactions, the network launched the live broadcast feature, called TikTok Live

  • TikTok Creator Fund

    How could the network continue to attract content creators? The answer lies in content monetization on the app. Thus, the TikTok Creator Fund was created, a monetary fund provided by the network, so that content creators can earn money through their videos. 

  • Creator Marketplace

    TikTok has already locked down creators, but what they were lacking were the brands to seek out brand partnerships and influencer marketing. To solve this, they launched the Creator Marketplace, a platform that connects brands and creators to collaborate. 

TikTok News 2018

  • The merger is complete

    Although the foundations were in place for TikTok to become a reality, it wasn’t officially launched until August 2018, when TikTok and Musical.ly’s merger was complete. They decided to stick with the TikTok name, and that was that. 

  • Duets arrive

    TikTok began to incorporate new features to maintain high user retention. One of the first, a milestone in content types, were duets on TikTok. With this content type, you can record yourself reacting to a video. When posted, TikTok displays a split screen, with your content as well as the video you reacted to.

  • Record number of users

    By the end of 2018, the social network was already known around the world but didn’t have the fame that we see today. Still, TikTok surpassed 800 million registered users after less than two years on the market. 


TikTok News 2017

  • Now it’s TikTok

    In 2017, TikTok was released outside of China and landed in other regions such as Indonesia and some European countries. This was also the same year that they bought Musical.ly, a similar app to create short-form videos, add effects, and edit content. However, this merger wouldn’t be publicly released until the following year. 

TikTok News 2016

  • First appearance

    In September 2016, the first version of TikTok, known as A.me, was released to the Chinese domestic marketplace. Technology company ByteDance was quick to change the name and renamed it in December 2017 to TikTok.

Anniston Ward Anniston Ward , 14 September 2023

Social Media Manager Calendar 2024

Find every important holiday and celebration in one place.

Get a head start on content and take a look at our 2024 social media manager calendar!

Ir arriba
You work 9-5, Metricool runs 24/7

The Key to grow
on social media

Automate, optimize and analyze your
social media, tackling management
in one place.
Create your FREE account
Send this to a friend