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TikTok Ban Backups: 6 Similar Apps for Your Daily Dose of Fun

The legal firestorm heats up again with legislation being signed to ban TikTok. Here are other apps worth downloading to get your fix.

Shelby Brown Editor II
Shelby Brown (she/her/hers) is an editor for CNET's services team. She covers tips and tricks for apps, operating systems and devices, as well as mobile gaming and Apple Arcade news. Shelby also oversees Tech Tips coverage. Before joining CNET, she covered app news for Download.com and served as a freelancer for Louisville.com.
  • She received the Renau Writing Scholarship in 2016 from the University of Louisville's communication department.
Jason Chun Associate Writer
Jason Chun is a CNET writer covering a range of topics in tech, home, wellness, finance and streaming services. He is passionate about language and technology, and has been an avid writer/reader of science fiction for most of his life. He holds a BA from UC Santa Barbara and an MFA from The New School.
Shelby Brown
Jason Chun
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President Joe Biden on Wednesday signed a bill that could ban TikTok in the US. The bill's passage is the latest event in the years-long fight between the popular Chinese app and the US government. US lawmakers grilled TikTok CEO Shou Chew in March 2023 and in January 2024 over concerns that TikTok could be used to gather intelligence from Americans and spread misinformation. Chew has denied those accusations and criticized the new bill, claiming that it is "a ban on... [users'] voice."

If you're one of the nearly 150 million Americans who actively use TikTok, you may be wondering when the ban will take effect and where else you can find your fix of short-form content. Rest assured, TikTok won't be going anywhere anytime soon: the ban, if it happens, will not begin until January 2025 at the earliest. 

Watch this: US vs. TikTok: What Happens Next

In the meantime, here are some other short-video creation apps you can check out.

Screenshots by Shelby Brown/CNET

Reels is a video feature on Instagram that lets you film, edit and post video clips in the app. Clips must be between three and 90 seconds long. To get started, make sure you've got the latest version of the Instagram app on iOS or Android. You can find Reels by swiping right to open the camera and tapping Reels. (Read our full Reels tutorial here.)

If you've used Vine or TikTok, Reels should feel familiar to you. On the left side of the screen, there's a slew of filters, songs to add, timed text options and other effects. 

You can easily swap and post to your Instagram page or story as well. Plus you can save a Reel to your drafts to keep working on it later. 


Much like its Instagram counterpart, Facebook Reels allows users to post video clips up to 90 seconds long. Since Facebook and Instagram are both owned by Meta, you can automatically share Reels you post on your Facebook account to your Instagram account and vice versa. The Facebook app is available on iOS and Android. 


YouTube offers a TikTok-style video feature called YouTube Shorts. Shorts allows creators to film quick, catchy videos at a maximum length of 60 seconds. YouTube also provides tools to edit multiple video clips together, as well as speed controls, timer and countdown options for recording hands-free. The YouTube app is available on iOS and Android.


Snapchat Spotlight

Snapchat's Spotlight feature, which delivers short-form video like TikTok, has grown in popularity since its introduction in 2020. Snapchat reported last month that the total time users spent watching Spotlight content increased more than 125% year-over-year. The company gives creators an extra incentive to use their platform: if their content gets enough views, Spotlight creators can get monthly rewards called Snap Crystals, which can be redeemed for cash. 

For more information on how to get rewarded on Spotlight, see the official guidelines. The Snapchat app is available on iOS and Android.

Triller/Screenshot by Shelby Brown/CNET

Rival TikTok app Triller started gaining more attention when members of the Trump family, including the former president, joined amid early TikTok negotiations. Similar to TikTok, Triller offers video and music features: Choose a song from the app's library or import their own song, film or upload a video, and edit and share on different social media platforms. You can also collaborate with friends on the app.

Triller also offers a vlog feature that lets you edit your footage in a B-roll documentary style, or Make a Music Video, which lets you upload clips without adding audio.

The app has social features like TikTok with the Community and Following feed. If you amass a large enough following, Triller's Wallet system can actually make you money. Triller has Gold, its in-app currency, which followers can gift to each other. Earning enough Gold can help you get Gems, which can be exchanged for real cash. 

Triller is available on iOS and Android

Screenshots by Shelby Brown/CNET

Byte was developed by Vine co-founder Dom Hoffman, and it's currently available on Android and iOS. The app's interface is similar to that of TikTok. You can either upload a video from your phone or film a new one. It probably has the fewest special effects features in terms of editing. When I made a clip, I was only able to add text and a song, and the app was rather limited in choices for both. One cool feature Byte does offer is Ghost Mode: If you tap the ghost icon while filming, it'll make your original image look faded, creating a dream-like or flashback effect. 

Until you start following other users, Byte will show a variety of videos in your home feed. If you tap the magnifying glass, you can start exploring. The app sorts videos into different categories like trending stuff, or genres like comedy, anime, weird things, pets, magic and more, instead of hashtags, like TikTok uses.