How To Add Videos On TikTok [Illustrated Guide]

TikTok has quickly risen to become one of the most popular social networks out there, with short videos that are easy to digest.

You can even add special effects to your video clips within the mobile app or the TikTok site.

In short, the popularity of TikTok means that creating TikTok content should be a part of your marketing strategy, whether you’re a vlogger, influencer, or big company.

If you can create some viral videos on TikTok, you’re sure to get a lot of eyeballs on your brand.

However, if you’re a new user, this popular app might seem a bit overwhelming.

In this quick guide, I’ll show you how to add new videos to TikTok quickly.

In short, there are two ways you can add new TikTok videos:

  1. upload a video you’ve already created
  2. record a new video from within the app

I’ll show you how to do both in this easy step-by-step guide. I’ll also cover things like adding video effects to your videos, using photos to create your first video, and more.

So if you’re using TikTok for the first time or simply want to look into some of the more advanced features, you’ve come to the right place.

Also, check out tips when TikTok won’t let you save your videos.

How to Upload Videos to TikTok

Uploading videos to TikTok from your camera roll is very simple (the camera roll is simply the videos you’ve already recorded and have on your mobile device, whether an iPhone or Android phone.)

How To Add Video on TikTok
Press the “+” sign to start adding a new video on TikTok.
(Image credit: TikTok)

Here’s how to upload your own TikTok video in a few simple steps:

  1. Open the TikTok app and log in to your TikTok account
  2. Hit the “+” icon at the bottom of the screen.
  3. Tap the upload button at the bottom right side of the screen
  4. Choose the video from your camera roll that you want to upload
  5. If needed, trim the length of the video by dragging the red rectangle at the beginning and end of your clip.
  6. Choose a sound for your video, if you want to
  7. If you need to, you can now put effects at certain points in the video, such as transitions and more.
  8. Add text if you want to.
  9. When you’re happy with your creation, tap “next.”
  10. Add a description to your video.
  11. Click “Post” to publish your video.
How to trim video TikTok app
Trim the length of your TikTok video by dragging the red rectangle at the beginning and end of your clip.
(Image credit: TikTok)
Add Caption TikTok Video
You can add a text overlay to your video in different styles.
(Image credit: TikTok)

Now people can check out your TikTok creation.

I’ll get explain more about adding effects within the TikTok editor a bit later in this article.

How to add photos to create a TikTok video

Instead of uploading a single video, you can upload multiple photos and create a video for this instead.

It’s pretty simple:

  • instead of choosing a video, pick your favorite photos from your photo gallery on your phone instead.
  • then click next and start editing the video created.

Alternatively, you can use one of the many templates.

Simply choose Template, select your photos, and then everything from transitions to music and sound effects is already done.

How to create a video with the TikTok camera (native content)

Of course, you don’t have to upload videos from your gallery, aka camera roll, to TikTok. You can record videos from within the TikTok app itself.

TikTok camera app video length options
The TikTok camera app video length options.
(Image credit: TikTok)

Here’s how:

  1. Open TikTok
  2. Tap the “+” button at the bottom of the screen
  3. Change your camera from selfie mode to front-facing camera or vice versa if needed
  4. Set the recording time to either 15s, 60s, or 3m (just above the red button).
  5. Click the Red Record Button to start recording
  6. Edit or trim your video, and add effects if needed
  7. Tap “Next” at the bottom right side of the screen
  8. Add a description
  9. Click “Post” to publish your video

It’s also possible to combine videos to make them longer. You can read more about how to do that in this illustrated guide.

Of course, if you don’t want to add a description, you can simply press “Post to Story,” and TikTok will start publishing your video right away.

Add TikTok camera video natively
TikTok Story doesn’t let you choose the length of your video since they’re all 15 seconds long.
(Image credit: TikTok)

A note on why you should create native content or convert uploaded videos into native content

Generally, videos that are native to the platform perform better than those that are recorded elsewhere. I think it might be an algorithm thing.

Thus, it’s likely best to stick to using TikTok to record your videos. It might be easier to do things this way, too.

However, you can convert content from your phone’s gallery into native content by simply trimming the video and adding effects to it from within the TikTok app.

But if you upload an old video from your camera roll without making changes, it won’t be a native TikTok video. Use this information to your advantage.

How to add interesting effects to your TikTok videos

How to add effects on TikTok Video
The Effects icon will only appear after you’ve recorded a video, but you can also choose real-time effects while you record. I cover this below.
(Image credit: TikTok)

If you’re a videographer like me, you’re probably used to creating videos and adding things like music, sound effects, and visual effects in an external video editor like Premiere Pro or Final Cut.

But most people don’t have access to that kind of editing software on their laptop or desktop computer.

Luckily, you don’t need an external editor to do these kinds of things to create a nice final video from within TikTok itself.

In short, there are two ways to add effects to your video in the TikTok app: 1) while you record and 2) after you’ve recorded your video.

Let’s have a look at both:

How to add effects while recording a video on Tiktok

TikTok users can add interesting effects in real-time while recording videos. It does this by using augmented reality similar to what we know from Snapchat, Facebook messenger, and similar apps.

TikTok teeth whitening effect
Bon Appetit! TikTok lets you do all kinds of fun stuff. Here I’ve turned myself into an Italian chef. You can’t even see my yellow coffee teeth because I’ve used the teeth whitening effect.
(Image credit: TikTok)

To add visual effects while recording, do this:

  1. Hit the “+” button at the bottom of the screen
  2. Tap Effects in the bottom right left
  3. Choose the effect you want
  4. Hit the red recording button to record your video
  5. Tap to edit the title and subtitle, if you want
  6. Click the Next button at the bottom right side of the screen
  7. Add a caption/description
  8. Click “Post” to publish your video.

You can even add a green screen effect to your Tik Tok video without owning a green screen yourself.

TikTok Green Screen effect how to
The TikTok green screen background options.
(Image credit: TikTok)

The green screen effect removes your messy room and puts in a background of choice. It’s chroma keying in real-time, and you don’t even have to own a green screen or blue screen. Of course, the key won’t be as clean as when you do chroma keying in After Effects and similar programs.

But it’s a nice effect to have on your hands when you don’t want to show all the mess you have left in your bedroom.

How to add effects to your already recorded videos

It’s also possible to add effects to video content you’ve uploaded to the TikTok application from your camera roll.

The first step is to upload your own video from your camera roll to TikTok, as I’ve described above. Then choose what type of visual effect you want on the right side of the screen (Text, Stickers, Effects, Filters).

For this example, we’ll choose “Effects.”

  1. Tap the Effects button to go to the editing page
  2. Swipe and choose the effect type you want (visual, motion, sticker, transition, split, or time).
  3. Press play on your video, and long press on your video effect whenever you want it applied to your video. (Alternatively, you can long press the effect to start the video too. This is good if you want to apply the effect right from the beginning).
  4. Press Undo if you missed your timing or didn’t like it.
  5. Click save when you’re satisfied.
  6. Click the Next button (or post to the story)
  7. Add a description
  8. Tap Post to publish your video

Here’s a short description of the TikTok effects:

  • Visual are nice to create some overlay effect (like Old TV) on your video.
  • Motion creates motion graphics on your short clips.
  • Sticker adds a stick to your video.
  • Tiktok transitions are nice if you have a longer video with different cuts and want to inject some life into the video. They’re also useful for creating an intro and outro for your videos. They’re also great for creating interesting transitions between multiple still photos.
  • Split takes your content and multiplies it.
  • Time you can use to create loops, reverse your video, or slow-motion.

If you choose Filters instead of Effects, you can add filters to your footage, similar to those found on Instagram.

In Closing

I hope you found this guide to adding TikTok videos helpful? TikTok is a powerful tool with millions of monthly active users, so use it to your business advantage.

Fx, let’s say you have a popular video on YouTube that you want to repurpose for TikTok.

Also, check out how to share a YouTube video on Instagram Story.

After downloading your YouTube video and uploading it to TikTok, you can add TikTok effects to turn it into a native TikTok video.

The editing process is pretty simple, and with a few tweaks within the app (or on the TikTok site), you can get your content in front of a new audience on this popular social media platform.

TikTok is a great way to get your message out there.


  • Jan Sørup

    Jan Sørup is a videographer and photographer from Denmark. He owns and the Danish company Apertura, which produces video content for big companies in Denmark and Scandinavia. Jan has a background in music, has drawn webcomics, and is a former lecturer at the University of Copenhagen.

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