Apps Like TikTok: The 8 Best Alternatives in 2020

Short-form video apps that'll make you forget about TikTok.

TikTok has suffered security and privacy concerns while it has come under the glare of government scrutiny. In fact, there's reason to doubt whether it will continue to be a viable service.

The good news is that TikTok isn't the only short-form social media video platform out there. Here are the eight best alternative apps you can use instead so you don't get caught up in the drama.

01
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Instagram Reels

Three views of the Instagram app
What We Like
  • Same effects available in Stories.

  • Can string together clips.

  • Augmented reality creates excellent effects.

What We Don't Like
  • Finding Reels is challenging.

Instagram is no newcomer to the social media world, and users have been able to post videos for years. You have the option to post live videos, add video to an Instagram Story, and now there is a new feature called Instagram Reels.

Reels lets you record and edit video montages up to 15 seconds long made from a single video or a series of clips. You can add a soundtrack from a library of options and add a suite of visual effects.

Finding Instagram Reels in the first place is a challenge, and unless you use it all the time, you'll probably forget in the app it's located. Once you find it, though, it works roughly the same as TikTok and it proves to be a good alternative since it shares the same effects and editing tools as Instagram Stories. In addition, you can explore Reel's augmented reality tools that combine graphics with video. 

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02
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Snapchat

Three views of the Snapchat app
What We Like
  • Videos up to 60 seconds.

  • Can edit with text and doodles.

  • Can watch Snap Originals.

What We Don't Like
  • Can't edit multiple clips.

Snapchat is another platform that has been doing the video thing long before TikTok had its moment. The app lets you create short videos, though they are designed to disappear after a short time, so they don't have the same staying power or impact as a TikTok video, but does offer significantly more privacy. Snapchat allows you to add text, doodles, and gifs to your video creations.

In addition to making your own Snaps, the app has a Discover page for watching other people's videos and Snap Originals, which are premium videos created expressly for Snapchat users. While not exactly TikTok fare, they include unscripted shows, docuseries, and even serialized dramas and comedies.

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03
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Triller

Three views of the Triller app
What We Like
  • Lots of celebrity content.

  • Super easy video creation.

  • Select music or use your own.

What We Don't Like
  • Limited editing and effects.

Triller is popular and growing fast, thanks in part to the fact that a number of celebrities, both musicians and comedians, have chosen to call it home. There is an enormous number of celebs here, including Justin Bieber, Kevin Hart, Cardi B, and a boxing match featuring Mike Tyson. Between the big names and enormous community of creators, there's no shortage of content.

That might be because the app is so easy to use. It distinguishes between music videos and social videos, and you choose which kind you're making right at the outset.

From there, social videos can include video clips from your camera roll and filters, but no other effects, text or stickers. To make a music video, you select a track from Triller's generous library or a song from your phone. It's fast, easy, and fun. 

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04
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Likee

Three views of the Likee app.
What We Like
  • TikTok like interface.

  • Magic Music filter helps edit clip to music.

  • Excellent community and lots of videos.

What We Don't Like
  • Too many notifications.

If you're looking for something that covers all the bases, Likee is a good choice. It makes it easy to record short, TikTok-like videos, but you can also go live and do Facebook Live-style long-form video.

You get a slew of editing and filter options, soft focus and beauty enhancements, as well as a countdown timer for hands-free recording. One of the nicest features in Likee, though, is the app's emphasis on music. Not only is there a solid library to choose from, but the music filters can edit your clip in response to the music's beat and tempo.

The app has a thriving community and a lot of content to browse, so whether you're creating or consuming, there's something here for you.

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05
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Byte

Three views of the Byte app
What We Like
  • Lot of community content.

  • Easy to create and post.

  • Solid music library.

What We Don't Like
  • No video editing or filters.

Remember Vine? Byte is brought to you by the folks behind that once-popular video app that made 6-second videos, and it has a simple almost-TikTok-like interface for creating short looping videos.

You can import videos you've already made or record within the app, which has a super-helpful fuel gauge at the top of the screen that fills in spurts as you record your clips. You can add text and music, but you can't edit a clip once it's recorded, nor does it offer anything in the way of filters.

Byte has what appears to be a thriving community, and you can subscribe to a huge variety of video channels with themes like comedy, Minecraft, K-pop, and, well, many more.  

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06
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Dubsmash

Three views of the Dubsmash app
What We Like
  • Active community of creators.

  • Easy to make the classic lip-sync video.

  • Collection of filters and text effects.

What We Don't Like
  • Community skews young.

As its name implies, Subsmash is focused on music. And while you can use Dubsmash to record ordinary short videos of up to a minute in length, the app really wants you to use it to make 10-second lipsync videos.

You can use a music clip from Dubsmash's library or import your own and then record video over the top of the sound. Importing music from your phone is a little annoying but not that difficult (it needs to be converted, and you need to choose which 10-second segment you want to grab.

On the content side, there's enough of a community here to keep you busy for a while, but you won't find much here for adults. This is a very teen-friendly zone; mostly lip-syncing and dancing, with the occasional charming guitarist showing off. 

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07
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Funimate

Three views of the Funimate app
What We Like
  • Powerful video editor.

  • Filters and effects.

  • Built-in templates.

What We Don't Like
  • Heavy-handed ads and in-app purchases.

Funimate would be a little more fun if it didn't lean so hard into trying to monetize you. When you install the app get the option to customize the ad experience in the app, and many of the app's core features are behind a paywall. In fact, you're offered the opportunity to upgrade to the Pro version frequently, and you need to watch ads to use certain features.

If you can put all that aside, Funimate is a great short-form video creator, as evidenced by many of the sophisticated-looking creator-community videos you can browse within the app.

Indeed, when you try to create a video, you'll find that you can just start recording, or choose from a slew of templates to make your video distinctive. Yes, many of them look like effects from a video yearbook, but they add a splash of excitement to what might otherwise be an ordinary lip-synch video. You can select from Funimate's music library or your own songs, and it's one of the few apps that has its own surprisingly powerful video editor, if you choose to use it. 

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08
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Firework

Three views of the Firework app
What We Like
  • Lots of filters and effects.

  • Easy to discover great community content.

  • Video editing tools.

What We Don't Like
  • Can't import personal music.

Firework feels like a grown-up version of TikTok. The interface is substantially the same and offers many of the same tools, but the app puts an emphasis on helping you discover videos you want to watch and creating custom collections of favorite creators, so there's no vanity metrics that distract you from just creating cool videos. The Discover tab makes it easy to search or browse by hashtag, and there's a good assortment of topics and age groups represented.

And as a TikTok user, the creation experience should feel familiar. You can record fresh video or grab files from your camera roll. There's a get a great assortment of filters and effects, and can choose from a solid music library. Unfortunately, there's no way to import your personal music files. 

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