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The Symbols and Icons on TikTok: What Are They?

Closeup of a hand scrolling on a mockup of TikTok

The Symbols and Icons on TikTok: What Are They?

Key Points

  • TikTok is a social media app that allows you to view and post short-form videos.
  • To navigate the app, it’s helpful to understand the meaning of TikTok icons.
  • Use good judgment while using the app and be aware of protecting your personal safety.

If you’re new to TikTok, getting used to the interface may take a while. While some of the icons are clearly labeled, others might require some understanding.

However, if you’re still a bit confused after exploring, we’re here to explain everything you need to know. We’ve broken down icons based on the page where they are located, making it easier for you to locate icons of interest.

Home Page

Home

Whenever you open TikTok, you’ll find yourself on the home screen. The icon itself looks like a house and is located in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen. If you click on the home screen, you’ll see a continuous stream of videos tailored to your interests.

While you’re in this area, you have the option to toggle between viewing content from creators you follow or exploring videos recommended by TikTok’s algorithm. The algorithm is designed to provide you with a diverse range of content. As you continue to engage with content, TikTok’s algorithm gets a better sense of your interests based on what you like.

The Symbols and Icons on TikTok: What Are They?
The Home button brings you back to your For You page.

Friends

The Friends icon is located to the right of the home icon in the bottom portion of the screen. It looks like a silhouette of a person’s head and shoulders overlapping a slightly smaller silhouette of another person’s head and shoulders.

If you click on the Friends icon, you’ll see content created by your friends. Friends, in this case, are followers that you follow back.

The Symbols and Icons on TikTok: What Are They?
The Friends icon looks like the silhouette of a person overlapping another silhouette.

Plus

If you want to post content on TikTok, you’ll need to click the plus (+) icon. Here, you can select media from your device’s gallery or record new footage within the app.

The Symbols and Icons on TikTok: What Are They?

Press the

plus icon

to create content.

Inbox

The inbox icon looks like a rectangular speech bubble with a dash inside. If you click it, you’ll see all your direct messages as well as various system notifications.

The Symbols and Icons on TikTok: What Are They?
The Inbox icon shows you your notifications and direct messages.

User Profile

The Profile icon looks like a silhouette of a head and shoulders. If you click on this, you’ll be directed to your own profile.

The Symbols and Icons on TikTok: What Are They?
This button will bring you to your profile.

Original Sound

The original sound icon is located in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen. By clicking this icon, you’ll be able to see all the videos using this sound.

The Symbols and Icons on TikTok: What Are They?
This icon shows you every video made with this particular audio on Tiktok.

Share

The share icon looks like an arrow and is located in the bottom right-hand portion of the screen.

By selecting this icon, you can opt to share the video with another TikTok user or through various platforms such as WhatsApp, SMS, Snapchat, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, and email.

Additionally, this icon provides options like saving the video to your device’s camera roll.

The Symbols and Icons on TikTok: What Are They?
The Share button looks like an arrow and lets you share any video with a friend!

Bookmark

The bookmark icon can be found in the lower right-hand corner of the screen. By selecting this icon, you can save the current video for later viewing. It’s important to keep in mind that if a creator deletes a video you have bookmarked, you won’t be able to access it anymore.

Additionally, it’s worth noting that not all videos can be bookmarked. Occasionally, you might come across advertisements that lack this feature.

The Symbols and Icons on TikTok: What Are They?
Bookmarking a video saves it to your Saved Videos.

Comment

The comment icon looks like a speech bubble containing three dots. Tapping on this icon will reveal the entire comment section for the video you are currently watching and will also allow you to add your own comments as well.

If you choose, you also have the option to like or dislike comments left by other users.

The Symbols and Icons on TikTok: What Are They?
This icon brings you to the current video’s comment section.

Like

The like icon is shaped like a heart. By clicking this icon, you effectively express your approval or appreciation for the video.

The Symbols and Icons on TikTok: What Are They?
Clicking the heart icon saves the video to your Liked Videos folder!

Creator Profile/Add

The creator profile icon is located just above the heart icon on the right-hand side of the home screen. By clicking this icon, you can go to the creator’s profile.

If you are not following the creator yet, you will also see a plus icon. By clicking the plus icon, you can instantly add the creator to your following list without visiting their profile.

The Symbols and Icons on TikTok: What Are They?
Visit the creator’s profile by clicking on this icon.

The search icon looks like a magnifying glass and is located in the top right-hand corner of the screen. By clicking this icon, you can search for videos of interest.

The Symbols and Icons on TikTok: What Are They?
The search function is the magnifying glass.

Live

The live icon is located in the top left-hand corner of the screen. Clicking it will take you to a feed of real-time videos.

The Symbols and Icons on TikTok: What Are They?
Live takes you to the livestreams happening right now.

Creator Page

Discard

Once you have recorded a new video, you may not be fully satisfied and want to retake it. In this case, you should click the discard icon which looks like a backward arrow containing an X.

Note that once you discard your video, you will not be able to retrieve it.

The Symbols and Icons on TikTok: What Are They?
The Discard button has an X on it and lets you delete the video you just made.

Continue

The continue icon looks like a red circle containing a checkmark. You can click this icon if you are satisfied with a video you have recorded and want to move forward with posting it.

Note that clicking this icon will not instantly post the video. It will simply move you forward in the process, allowing you to further edit your video before allowing others to view it.

The Symbols and Icons on TikTok: What Are They?
Continue brings you to the next page of the process. Note that it does not post the video yet!

Speed

The speed icon resembles a speedometer, like what you’d find on a car’s dashboard. This feature allows you to modify the playback speed of your video.

You have a range of options to choose from, including .3x, .5x, 1x (normal speed), 2x, and 3x.

The Symbols and Icons on TikTok: What Are They?
This button lets you change your video’s speed.

Filters

The filters icon looks like three overlapping circles and is located on the right-hand side of the screen. This allows you to access video filters.

Filters are visual effects that can be applied to videos to alter their appearance. This can include simple modifications such as lighting or coloring and can include complex modifications like transforming your face into a banana.

The Symbols and Icons on TikTok: What Are They?
Filters can be applied by clicking the icon with three circles.

Retouch

The retouch icon looks like a wand shooting sparks. If you turn it on, your video will be automatically enhanced. This process can include lighting and coloring. It is intended to improve the visual quality of your video.

The Symbols and Icons on TikTok: What Are They?
The Retouch icon enhances your video.

Timer

The timer icon looks like a clock. It gives you the ability to set a recording limit on your video.

The Symbols and Icons on TikTok: What Are They?
The Timer icon lets you set a time limit on your video.

Flash

The flash icon is shaped like a lightning bolt with a slash through it and is located in the upper right-hand portion of the screen. Touching this icon will turn on the flash which provides additional light during recording.

The Symbols and Icons on TikTok: What Are They?
Flash will be on if it’s just a lightning bolt, but it will be off if there is a slash through it.

Flip Camera

The flip camera icon looks like two arrows forming a circle and is located in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. Clicking this icon allows you to switch between the front-facing camera and the back-facing camera.

The Symbols and Icons on TikTok: What Are They?
Click this icon to flip from the front-facing camera to the back camera.

Add Sound

The Add Sound icon looks like a slanted beam eight note. It allows you to add different types of sound effects to your video.

The Symbols and Icons on TikTok: What Are They?
Add a sound by clicking this!

X

The X icon is located in the top left-hand corner of the screen. Clicking this will give you the option to discard your video, start over, or save your video as a Draft.

The Symbols and Icons on TikTok: What Are They?
Click the X to discard your video, start over, or save it in Drafts.

Profile Page

User Feed

The user feed icon looks like six vertical lines and is located in the left-hand center of the screen. Clicking this icon will allow you to view all the videos you have posted on TikTok.

If you want to upload a video from your camera roll without editing it, you can also click the upload button in this area.

The Symbols and Icons on TikTok: What Are They?
Click the user feed icon to see all of your uploaded videos.

Private Videos

The private videos icon looks like a lock. When posting a video, you may choose to make it only visible to you. This icon serves as the access point for these videos.

The Symbols and Icons on TikTok: What Are They?
This is where your private videos are.

Saved Videos

Your saved videos icon looks like a bookmark. This is where you can find all the videos you previously bookmarked.

Within your Settings, you can choose to make your bookmarked videos either public or private. If your bookmarked videos are private, you will see an additional element within the icon: a shape resembling an eye with a slash through it.

The Symbols and Icons on TikTok: What Are They?
You can make your Saved Videos public or private.

Liked Videos

Your liked videos icon is shaped like a heart. This is where you can find all of the videos you previously liked, beginning with the most recent.

The Symbols and Icons on TikTok: What Are They?
Liked Videos will appear via the heart tab.

QR Code

The QR code icon consists of four small squares and five dots. Clicking this icon will generate a QR code for your profile page.

You can easily share this code with friends and others, enabling them to follow you by simply scanning it with their device’s camera.

The Symbols and Icons on TikTok: What Are They?
Share your account with your QR code!

Add New Profile Picture

This icon looks like a blue circle containing a plus sign. It is attached to the bottom right portion of your current profile picture. Clicking on this icon will give you the opportunity to upload a new profile picture.

The Symbols and Icons on TikTok: What Are They?
You can change or add your profile picture by clicking this.

Feet

The feet icon will take you to a list of all the people who have viewed your profile within the last 30 days.

Only you can see this, but you will have to turn this feature on and allow other users to see if you view their profile.

The Symbols and Icons on TikTok: What Are They?
The feet icon holds all of the accounts that have viewed your profile.

Hamburger Menu

The hamburger menu looks like three horizontal lines. By clicking on it, you can access a menu including creator tools, your QR code, and your settings.

The Symbols and Icons on TikTok: What Are They?
Access settings through the hamburger menu.

Hamburger Menu

Creator Tools

The creator tools icon is located within the hamburger menu on your profile page. If you click on it, you will be able to view data analytics and tools to manage your earnings.

The Symbols and Icons on TikTok: What Are They?
Access your creator tools from the hamburger menu!

Gear

The gear is located within your hamburger menu and allows you to adjust your General Settings as well as your Privacy Settings.

The Symbols and Icons on TikTok: What Are They?
Settings and privacy holds all of your general and privacy settings.

About TikTok

TikTok was launched in September 2016 and has been downloaded over three billion times. It’s an engaging app that allows users to view a continuous stream of content tailored to their personal interests.

However, not all content is allowed on TikTok and users are expected to conform to community guidelines.

In addition to respecting these rules, we recommend the below.

Be Mindful About Sharing Personal Information

It’s a good idea to not share private details like your home address, but also remember not to reveal your current location. Users could infer this based on your background and surroundings.

Choose Your Followers Wisely

Unfortunately, you may encounter users on TikTok that can’t be trusted. It may be better to have a smaller trusted following rather than a larger following that could include users with nefarious purposes.

Think Before You Post

Before uploading a video, consider its potential impact and whether you are willing to face the consequences. If your videos are public, be prepared for different reactions.

Block and Report Offenders

Should you encounter individuals who are harassing you or others, do not hesitate to block them. In cases where the situation warrants it, you may also consider reporting the behavior to TikTok moderators.

If you need to report a problem, we recommend this resource.

Up Next:

Summary Table

IconDescription
HomeLocated in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen. It leads to a continuous stream of videos tailored to your interests.
FriendsLocated to the right of the home icon. It leads to content created by your friends.
PlusUsed to post content on TikTok.
InboxLeads to all your direct messages and various system notifications.
User ProfileLeads to your own profile.
Original SoundLocated in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen. It shows all the videos using this sound.
ShareLocated in the bottom right-hand portion of the screen. It allows you to share the video with another TikTok user or through various platforms.
BookmarkLocated in the lower right-hand corner of the screen. It allows you to save the current video for later viewing.
CommentReveals the entire comment section for the video you are currently watching and allows you to add your own comments.
LikeExpresses your approval or appreciation for the video.
Creator Profile/AddLocated on the right-hand side of the home screen. It leads to the creator’s profile.
SearchLocated in the top right-hand corner of the screen. It allows you to search for videos of interest.
LiveLocated in the top left-hand corner of the screen. It leads to a feed of real-time videos.
DiscardUsed to discard a video you are not satisfied with.
ContinueUsed to move forward with posting a video you are satisfied with.
SpeedAllows you to modify the playback speed of your video.
FiltersLocated on the right-hand side of the screen. It allows you to access video filters.
RetouchEnhances your video automatically.
TimerSets a recording limit on your video.
FlashLocated in the upper right-hand portion of the screen. It turns on the flash which provides additional light during recording.
Flip CameraLocated in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. It allows you to switch between the front-facing camera and the back-facing camera.
Add SoundAdds different types of sound effects to your video.
XLocated in the top left-hand corner of the screen. It gives you the option to discard your video, start over, or save your video as a Draft.
User FeedLocated in the left-hand center of the screen. It allows you to view all the videos you have posted on TikTok.
Private VideosAccess point for videos that are only visible to you.
Saved VideosWhere you can find all the videos you previously bookmarked.
Liked VideosWhere you can find all of the videos you previously liked, beginning with the most recent.
QR CodeGenerates a QR code for your profile page.
Add New Profile PictureLocated at the bottom right portion of your current profile picture. It allows you to upload a new profile picture.
FeetTakes you to a list of all the people who have viewed your profile within the last 30 days.
Hamburger MenuAccesses a menu including creator tools, your QR code, and your settings.
Creator ToolsLocated within the hamburger menu on your profile page. It allows you to view data analytics and tools to manage your earnings.
GearLocated within your hamburger menu and allows you to adjust your General Settings as well as your Privacy Settings.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I use hashtags on TikTok?

Adding relevant hashtags to your video’s caption makes it discoverable to users interested in those topics.

How do I block or report a user on TikTok?

Go to the user’s profile, click the three dots in the top right corner, and select Block.

Can I change my TikTok username?

Yes. Go to your profile and click the Edit Profile button. You can change your username under the Username section.

Can I delete a TikTok video I posted?

Yes. Go to the video you want to delete, click the three dots, and select Delete.

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