How to Add TikTok Filters and Effects

Jazz up your TikTok videos with fun effects

What to Know

  • Effects: Record a video and tap Effects. Available effects appear below the timeline. Tap a category name to browse other effects.
  • Filters: Record a video and tap Filters. Choose a filter below the timeline. Drag the white dot to raise and lower the intensity.
  • Text: Record a video and tap Text. Type a message. Use the menu above the keyboard to choose a font or color. Tap A to add an outline.

What sets TikTok apart from other similar social media apps is its integrated video filters and effects, which can be added to clips after they're recorded or in real time while they're being recorded. In this guide, we show you how to get more filters and effects on TikTok, as well as how to add text to a TikTok video.

How to Add Effects to a TikTok Video

TikTok effects are used by both the casual user and popular social media influencers to make their videos more engaging and entertaining. You can also add photo backgrounds to your videos.

Here’s how to add video effects on TikTok.

  1. Open the TikTok app on your iPhone or Android smartphone.

  2. Tap the + button in the center of the lower menu.

  3. Tap the red Record icon to record a new video or tap Upload to upload an existing clip from your device.

    Vertical videos look better on TikTok and tend to get more engagement.

  4. Tap Effects from the lower menu.

    iPhone TikTok app showing how to add effects to a Tik Tok video.
  5. The TikTok app will show you a live preview of your video with a timeline underneath it. Drag the white marker to where you would like an effect to start.

    If you want to place an effect over the entire video, leave the white marker at the beginning.

  6. Available TikTok effects will be featured as circle icons under the timeline. The default effect category is Visual. You can swipe left or right to browse this list and find one that you like.

  7. To view effects from other categories, tap the category name under the circles.

    Trans stands for transition and is best used in the space on the timeline where one clip ends and another begins.

  8. Once you find an effect that you want to try, perform a long tap on its icon to apply it.

  9. You can now play the video back to see how it looks. If you’re not happy with the results, tap the arrow icon which should now be visible under the timeline to undo it.

    iPhone TikTok app showing how to add effects to a Tik Tok video.
  10. Repeat with as many effects as you like in other parts of your TikTok video or even over the top of existing ones.

    Usually only one TikTok effect from the Sticker category can be used per video. Other effects can be used over these type of effects though.

  11. When you’re ready, tap Save.

  12. Make the usual changes with the video volume, sounds, stickers, or text features as you usually would and tap Next.

    It’s perfectly fine just to tap Next without making any further changes.

  13. Enter a good description, choose your hashtags and settings, and tap Post. Your TikTok video will now be live with the effects that you chose.

    iPhone TikTok app showing how to add effects to a Tik Tok video.

How to Add Filters to a TikTok Video

Like effects, TikTok filters are also used by small, medium, and super-popular users on the social network. While effects on TikTok are used to create dynamic or creative visuals, TikTok filters are used to make more subtle changes and function in much the same way as photo filters on Instagram.

  1. Open the TikTok app on your iOS or Android device.

  2. Tap the icon with the + symbol.

  3. Tap the red Record icon to record a new video or tap Upload to use a clip saved on your device.

    You can upload or record several bits of footage to use in your TikTok video if you like.

  4. In the upper-right corner of your video preview, you should see a menu. Tap Filters.

    This menu may be hard to see if your video has a lot of white.

  5. A variety of filters will appear along the bottom of the screen. Tap one to view a live preview of it on your video.

    Adding filters to TikTok videos in the iPhone Tik Tok smartphone app.

    While the filters are sorted by categories, you can use any of them on any video. For example, it’s completely fine to use a filter from the Food filter category on a shopping video.

  6. Drag the white dot to decrease or increase the intensity of the TikTok video filter. Once you have your TikTok video looking the way you want, tap it to close the Filters menu.

    To remove all applied filters and begin again, tap the icon on the left that looks like a circle with a line through it.

  7. Make any other edits you want to make to your video and, when you’re done, tap Next.

  8. Finish by entering the appropriate information and choosing the settings you want, then tap Post to publish your video.

    Adding filters to TikTok videos in the iPhone Tik Tok smartphone app.

Where’s the TikTok Sparkle Filter?

One of the trendiest filters on TikTok is the one that adds shiny sparkles over the video. This can be hard to find because it’s not a filter, it’s an effect, and can be found in the Effects menu. There also isn’t actually an effect named Sparkle.

TikTok users who have videos with a sparkle effect likely used one or more of the following TikTok effects:

  • Gold Powder
  • Heart
  • Rainbow
  • Heart Bling
  • Bling
  • Streamer
  • Starlight
  • Fireworks
  • Colorful
  • Leak

All of these effects are within the Visual category.

Drawing of a woman holding her smartphone with multiple colors and drawings of planetary objects coming out of it.

How to Add Text to a TikTok Video

Adding text to a TikTok video is fairly straightforward and is done in a very similar way to how you add text to an Instagram Story.

  1. Open the TikTok app.

  2. Tap the + icon.

  3. Record a video as per usual or upload one from your smartphone.

  4. From the lower menu, tap Text.

    Text being added to a video on the Tik Tok app on iPhone.
  5. A keyboard will appear in addition to a variety of format options. First, type your message.

  6. Choose your font style and color from the menu above the keyboard.

    If you’ve accidentally exited the text edit screen, just tap on your words in the video preview and tap Edit.

  7. Tap the A icon to add a color outline around your text. Also tap the icon with the lines to choose an alignment preference.

    Text being added to a video on the Tik Tok app on iPhone.

    Adding an outline can be a great way to enhance readability both on the video and on its thumbnail.

  8. Tap Done.

  9. Using two fingers, resize, move, and rotate your text to get it where you want.

  10. Tap Next.

  11. Make the usual choices, enter a description with hashtags, and tap Post to publish your TikTok video.

    Text being added to a video on the Tik Tok app on iPhone.
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