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TikTok Is Allegedly Working on a New Photo App and Its Icon Looks Awfully Familiar

Never let it be said that an impending national app ban and swarming billionaire vultures ever stopped TikTok from plowing ahead. But if a fresh leak is true, TikTok may want to rethink the logo for its new app.

The developer AssembleDebug, who has been right in the past, recently spotted code indicating that TikTok was working on a new photo-sharing app called “TikTok Photos.” The code included language that TikTok Photos would be launched soon and implied that creators would be able to sync the photos they upload on TikTok to the new app automatically.

“TikTok Photos will be launched soon, we hope to help you gain new audiences in the new app,” the text found by AssembleDebug read. “If the switch is on, we’ll sync your public photos to the new app, whether you close the pop-up or not.”

Gizmodo reached out to TikTok for comment on the purported new app on Tuesday morning but did not immediately hear back.

TikTok already lets users share photos to its app, which appear as videos in its feed. They can even post multiple photos, which users can scroll through like the carousel on Instagram.

AssembleDebug also spotted the icon for the TikTok Photos app in the code, which may seem strangely familiar. The icon features the letter “P,” a clear reference to “photos,” in a prominent position and includes TikTok’s standard pink, blue, and white colors. On paper, this app identity makes sense. But in reality, TikTok has ended up with an icon that looks a lot like PayPal.

The resemblance is problematic, primarily because the apps have drastically different use cases. TikTok theoretically wants you to use its new app to post photos, while PayPal is used to send money and buy things online. You could argue that young people who use TikTok are on the newer apps, such as Venmo (owned by PayPal) and Cash App, so it doesn’t matter. And that’s a good point, but there’s another issue: The icon is ugly.

It looks like a multicolored blob or the beginning of a Tetris game. It also doesn’t really convey “photo app” at first glance—unlike Instagram’s camera icon. When I look at it, I don’t really know what it wants me to do. Furthermore, the idea of having yet another black icon on my phone—think X, TikTok, and Threads—is going to require some shuffling to make sure I don’t click on the wrong one.

It’s entirely possible that this new app will never see the light of day. Companies brainstorm new ideas for their products all the time. Some get rolled out to the public, while others die in development. But creating a new photo-sharing app when your app already supports photos doesn’t make that much sense.

In addition, let’s not forget that TikTok has already tried to launch a photo-sharing app in the U.S. The company debuted Lemon8, a mashup of Instagram and Pinterest, last year, which has so far failed to gain traction.

If TikTok does decide to bring the TikTok Photos app into the world, I hope that it at least rethinks the icon.

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