How to Make a TikTok Video

Add text, use the green screen effect and create eye-catching transitions

TikTok has a variety of ways to enhance your videos, so it's worth going over the video creation process and endless possibilities for editing and enhancements. You can record a video directly through the TikTok app or upload an existing video from your device. Both processes are slightly different, so we've included two sets of instructions for each.

The following instructions apply to the TikTok app on both iOS and Android platforms. The images provided feature the iOS version.

How to Make a TikTok Video Using the TikTok App

Video is what makes TikTok popular. And you can create a video directly from the app using a few easy steps.

  1. Open the TikTok app on your mobile device and tap the plus sign in center of the menu at the bottom of the screen.

  2. Tap 60s or 15s at the bottom of the screen for a longer video length of up to a minute or a shorter video length of up to 15 seconds.

  3. Decide whether you want to apply effects before or after you record your video. If you want to do it before, tap Effects to the left of the record button, then tap an effect from the menu. When you're done, tap the screen to exit the Effects tab.

    Try the green screen effect to add a video or an image behind you as your background. Tap the icon resembling a video player behind a green screen to select a video from your device, or tap the icon resembling an image behind a green screen to select an image.

  4. Optionally, tap any of the features listed vertically on the right. Enabling Speed will speed up your finished recording, turning Beauty on will help smooth out your skin. Tap Filters to alter the colors, and tap Timer to set a specific time for the video to automatically stop recording.

    Screenshots of how to take a video on TikTok.
  5. Tap the red Record button to start recording.

    You can stop and restart the recording as many times as yo want as long as you still have time in your 15-second or 60-second recording. If you finish the video early, tap the red checkmark button to confirm that you finished.

  6. Your video preview will play and you'll be able to apply additional effects to it, whether you already added effects to it prior to recording or not.

    In the top right corner, you can tap:

    • Voice effects: Changes the sound of your voice;
    • Filters: Changes the colors and ambiance of the video; or
    • Recording: Record sounds from your device over your video.

    At the bottom, you can tap:

    • Sounds: Select a sound clip from TikTok's built-in library;
    • Effects: Apply visual effects, insert a creative transition anywhere in your video, create a split screen effect, or manipulate the time by reversing, repeating, or slowing down your video;
    • Text: Type something over your video in your color and font of choice; or
    • Stickers: Apply fun graphics, including interactive ones like Polls.
  7. When you're happy with your video, or you want to take a break and come back to it later, tap Next in the bottom right corner.

  8. Type a caption into the caption field, add optional hashtags, customize the privacy setting and choose other social networks to share it there as well.

    Screenshots of editing a video in TikTok.
  9. Tap Drafts to save it for later or tap Post to post it immediately.

How to Make a TikTok Video by Uploading to the TikTok App

You can create TikTok videos using one or multiple videos stored on your device. You do this by uploading the video or videos and then stitching them together with the TikTok app. It's easier than it sounds. Here's how to do it.

Now you can use many of the same effects you can use when recording a video through the app, but not all of them. For instance, when you uploading videos from your device, you can't use the green screen effect, beauty effect, and some others.

  1. Open the TikTok app on your mobile device and tap the plus sign in center of the menu at the bottom of the screen.

  2. Tap the Upload thumbnail to the right of the red record button and select a video.

  3. If you only want to select one video, tap the video thumbnail from the grid. If you want to select more than one video, tap Multiple in the bottom left, then tap the circular checkboxes in the top right of the video thumbnails in the order you want them to appear.

    Your video will preview on the next tab.

    Screenshots of uploading videos on TikTok

    If you selected just one video and it exceeds the maximum 59-second length, you'll be able to trim the video by sliding the red trimmer over your video timeline to select the portion of the video you want to use. If you selected multiple videos, however, you won't get to trim your video — regardless of whether it exceeds the maximum 59-second length.

  4. Tap Next in the top right.

  5. In the top right, tap Filters to change the colors or tap Recording to record sound over your video. In the bottom left, tap Sounds to insert audio clips, Effects to apply special effects, Text to write something, or Stickers to apply fun graphics.

  6. If you uploaded multiple videos, you might want to take advantage of transitions where one clip ends and the next clip begins. To do this, tap Effects > Transitions. Use your finger to drag the white transition marker over your video timeline to the spot where you want to transition to occur, then tap and hold one of the circular transition previews to apply it there.

    Screenshots of how to add transitions in TikTok.

    The longer you hold your finger down on the transition, the longer it will be. If you want to insert multiple transitions, you must do them each separately. Tap Save in the top right and repeat step six again for each additional transition.

  7. Tap Next in the bottom right.

  8. Type in a caption, customize any additional settings (privacy, social sharing, etc.), then tap Drafts to save it for later or tap Post to post it to your feed.