How to start posting videos on TikTok

Okay, this article is for those who have never posted a video on TikTok. The rest of you? Stop sneering, and go.

Are we alone? Okay, here it is. To begin with, there are actually more TikTok newbies than you might think. But the service is definitely worth exploring: TikTok is a really fun (and sometimes even educational) app. And after you’ve browsed through tons of videos — some great, some really funny, and some you wish you’d never seen — you might want to try making your own.

TikTok has a culture of its own: straightforward, brash, sometimes (actually often) beyond what many consider good taste to be. So it’s very creative. But while you can be as wild as you want (within limits, of course), you don’t have to stop — especially if you’re just trying. When you try your first video, go where you want to go.

And what’s even better, you can keep your videos private until you’re ready to publish them to the world.

Here’s how to make your own TikTok videos. We’ll just touch on the basics and give you the tools so you can explore further. One note here: this was done using an Android Pixel phone, so there may be minor differences in the interface.

Start

  • Tap the plus sign at the bottom center of the screen. You are now in camera mode. If you want to make a video within TikTok, hit the big record button and start recording. But first, a few tips.
  • Just above that button is the time limit for your video. You can choose one of three: 15 seconds, 60 seconds, or 3 minutes. (This last one is a new update, so it may not be rolling out to your phone yet. Be patient.)

To get started, tap the button

To get started, tap on the “plus” button in the bottom center.

You will soon find yourself in camera mode.

You will soon find yourself in camera mode.

  • Below the button is a label for the camera button and, to the right of it, a link for a set of templates that will take some of your photos and put them in a prepackaged form. Look; These might be great if you want to share TikTok as a card with a few friends, but they’re not very interesting. (There are other templates available online if you want to search.)
  • More interesting (to me, however) is the Effects button to the left of the camera button, which will add interesting effects to your video as you record it. Go ahead and check, but be warned: this might take up the rest of your afternoon.

TikTok comes with several initial templates.

TikTok comes with several initial templates.

The Effects button lets you play with the look of your video.

The Effects button lets you play with the look of your video.

Add sound

And then, there was a sound.

There are various ways you can add music or other audio to your videos.

  • If you like the audio in the video you’re watching, you can tap the moving circle in the bottom right corner. That will take you to a video page featuring music from the artist. If you are currently making your own video, you can tap the big “Use this sound” button at the bottom to add it to your video. Otherwise, you can simply “Add to Favorites” by tapping the button above.

If you like audio, tap the circle in the lower right corner.

If you like the audio, tap the circle in the lower right corner.

You can use the sound right away, or add it to your favourites.

You can immediately use the sound or add it to your favorites.

  • When you’re ready to add audio to your new video, and you’re in camera mode, tap the “Add sound” button at the top of the screen. You can search for an artist or song in the top search box, find new sounds using the Discover list on the bottom left, or view your previously selected Favorites on the bottom right.
  • But wait, there’s more: swipe down the page, and you can find several categorized playlists. Further down, you can see examples of the types of music available; if you like the category, tap “See all” for more options. Paste the flag icon to the favorite you like.

Tap

Tap “Add sound” on your camera mode screen, and you can add various audios to your new video.


(Note: if you create a sponsored video — in other words, if you get paid for your video — tap the “Sound” label at the top and select “Commercial Sound” to access audio licensed for commercial use.)

Uploading videos and photos

  • If you prefer to use a video you’ve already recorded, tap the “Upload” button to the right of the camera button. This will take you to your Photos app, where you can select one or more videos or photos in any combination you want.
  • When you select a photo or video, thumbnails will appear at the bottom of the screen, numbered in the order of presentation (assuming the order you selected). If you want to put them in a different order, press the thumbnail on the button and move it left or right; You will notice that the numbering in the main window has changed. When you’re ready, select “Next.”

A thumbnail of the video or photo of your choice will appear at the bottom.

A thumbnail of the video or photo of your choice will appear at the bottom.

You can trim your video at the beginning or the end.

You can trim your video at the beginning or the end.

Prepare your video

  • On the next screen, your video will play, with a crop box at the bottom that lets you trim it at the beginning or end. You can also speed up the video by 2x or slow it down 0.5x by tapping the clock icon or rotate the image by 90 degrees by tapping the square icon. When you’re ready, tap the Next button.
  • This is where you can add sounds (if you haven’t already) and effects (including color effects or transitions; you can also play with time using repetition or slow motion). You can add text or stickers. If you’re feeling more ambitious, you can add filters (to change colors) and do a voiceover.
  • You can also add text. This can be an important addition; it makes your videos more accessible, and also allows people to watch them when they can’t turn on audio. Note: when you enable auto-captioning, you must agree to “audio collection and use”.
  • Don’t be afraid to play around; each of these features can be changed in a number of interesting ways.

Here, I have added some text to the video.

Here, I have added some text to the video.

On the last page, you can add a description and set limits for your video.

On the last page, you can add a description and set limits for your video.

  • Finally, you have reached the last page. Describe your video; enter multiple hashtags or tag friends; add link. You can also decide whether to allow comments and whether to allow people to use your videos in TikTok Duet (where they can shoot videos side by side with you) or Stitch (where other people can use parts of your videos while crediting you). And (perhaps most importantly when you’re a newbie) you can decide whether you want to keep it a secret, just share it with friends, or throw it around the world.
  • If you still want to play it a bit, tap Drafts. Otherwise, tap Post.

And you’re done!

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