Bulletins

TikTok is launching an AR filter free-for-all

All TikTok users will be able to create filters using the company's Effect House.

TikTok Effect House

TikTok opened Effect House to all users.

TikTok

Want to make a filter that turns your face into an alien on TikTok? Now you can.

TikTok announced Tuesday that it would open its Effect House, a platform that lets creators make video effects and filters, to all users.


Effect House has been in closed beta since last fall, and TikTok said that 450 effects and filters have been created and published in the months since. Those filters have been used in more than 1.5 billion videos and viewed 600 billion times. When a user has an effect published, it will be linked to their account and show up in a designated tab on their profile.

"Through the expansion of the Effect House beta, we're looking forward to seeing more of the world's creative builders develop engaging and exciting effects for our global community," TikTok said in its press release.

TikTok's Effect House opens as more social media companies continue to invest heavily in augmented reality. Snap has long devoted resources to its AR Lens studio for creating filters (along with several other AR investments), and Instagram opened its filter creation studio, Spark AR, to the public back in 2019. By opening up Effect House to all users, TikTok is seemingly catching up — and also attempting to keep its captive audience locked inside the app.

Creating effects for TikTok comes with a long list of rules. All effects must follow TikTok's Community Guidelines as well as its Effect Guidelines. The Effect Guidelines include both technical requirements for CPU, memory usage and frame rate, and content requirements, which prohibit effects to promote things such as violent extremism, illegal activities, misinformation, dangerous acts or challenges and self harm. Effects also cannot include QR codes, can't violate intellectual property rights and will include a warning tag if they flash and could trigger photosensitive epilepsy.

TikTok's Trust and Safety team will review all of the effects submitted to make sure they don't violate guidelines. If one slips through, users can report it.

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