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How to use TikTok’s Text-to-Speech feature

It’s just as fun to see what words it can’t pronounce

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

TikTok’s Text-to-Speech is both a great accessibility feature for people with visual and reading impairments and a tool to create enjoyable content. While Text-to-Speech is available on devices like tablets or phones via the operating system, it’s relatively forward-thinking for a social app like TikTok to make it available within the app. Other platforms like Twitter and Facebook don’t make use of this feature. Instagram does auto-caption stories but only if someone is already speaking in the video.

The feature doesn’t come without controversy, however. TikTok changed the original voice after the actor filed a lawsuit claiming she had never agreed to be featured in the app. The new voice is less of a monotone than the original and seems to be just as popular. Creators use it to narrate their videos, as an accessibility tool, and to have a little fun by seeing what words the bot can (or cannot) pronounce.

If this is something you’re interested in, here’s how to set it up:

  • Record your video.
  • When you’ve finished recording, press the Text button at the bottom of the screen.
  • Type what you want to say and press elsewhere on the screen to finish the text.
  • Press and hold the text you just typed out.
  • Select “Text-to-Speech.”

Here’s an example of what TikTok’s Text-to-Speech feature sounds like:

@blushingbb_slimes

Color of ur top + last thing you ate = our next new slime! ✨ What is it? #texttospeech #satisfy #fypシ #good4u #oddlysatisfying #foru #oliviarodrigo

♬ good 4 u - Olivia Rodrigo