Everything You Need to Know About TikTok’s Text-to-Speech Feature


After spending hours and hours scrolling through TikTok, and enjoying anything from amazing dance routines and elaborate skits to life hacks, you may get the urge to post your first TikTok video.

Now that you’re seriously considering your path as a TikTok creator, why not get familiar with the newest trends? We’d like to introduce you to a fun and useful feature the app has to offer: Text-to-Speech.

What is the TikTok Text-to-Speech Option?

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We’ll start with a short explanation about the feature. Simply put, TikTok Text-to-Speech allows you to turn any piece of text you put on top of your video into a Siri-sounding voice. This means that anything you type will be read out loud in a robotic tone, without the need for you to narrate.

There are several reasons you might choose to use this option. First, it’s a great alternative for people who don’t want to or can’t use their own voice in videos. Maybe you’re shy or you just want to keep an air of anonymity. Or you may have a speech impediment, or communicate non-verbally or non-vocally. Either way, this feature offers you an alternative way to narrative to viewers.

Read more: TikTok Adds Automatic Captions in Bid to Improve Accessibility

But there are also several benefits this feature provides to your audience. Some of them might struggle to read, may have poor eye-sight, or are blind. Using Text-to-Speech will ensure that they can still interact with your content.

Making your videos more accessible means you’ll get more engagement, which is a win-win situation. Finally, many TikTokers use the Text-to-Speech option for dramatic or comedic effects.

When you use someone else’s voice to add narration, you can create a whole new character, which reacts to what’s happening on screen. In many situations, the robotic tone, and the way it reads the words out, just slightly wrong, can make the video a roaring success.

There is an entire trend on TikTok that revolves around this robotic voice acting out group text conversations between friends. The possibilities to get creative with this effect are endless.

How to Use TikTok Text-to-Speech

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If we’ve sold you on this feature and you’re ready to put it to use, you’d be happy to hear that it’s quite simple.

To start, launch the app on your phone and follow these steps:

  1. Press the + button at the bottom of the screen to create a new video.
  2. Record a video as you normally would.
  3. Press the red tick once you’re finished.
  4. On the next screen, press the Text button at the bottom and type in the text you want to be read out loud. Make sure that the text is not too long. If it takes more time to say it than the length of your video, it will be cut in the middle.
  5. Drag the text box to where you want it to appear on the screen.
  6. To turn the Text-to-Speech option on, tap on the text box and choose it from the pop-up menu.

That’s it, your video now has a robot voice talking over it. You can add the feature several times in the same video, with different text boxes.

In addition, you can follow this step-by-step guide on how to add text to a TikTok video to discover other options that are available for text. For instance, you can change the fonts, designs, and duration, to make it appear over just one specific portion of the video.

If you want to remove the original sound from the recording so that the Siri narration is the only thing left, tap the Sound button at the bottom left. Then tap Volume.

You can set the original volume to anything between 100% to 0%. You can also choose to add a popular sound from the TikTok library in the Added Sound screen, to help your video perform better.

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Why Your Text-to-Speech Voice Is Either Male or Female

Perhaps you already noticed that when you use the Text-to-Speech feature you get a voice that is different from what you’ve seen in other videos. There are two voices available—a male one and a female one. Unfortunately, we don’t get to pick the one we like better.

The theory is that the voice you get is determined by your geography. So if you live in the US, you get a female voice, and if you live in UK or Europe, you get a male one. We’re not quite sure what’s happening in other parts of the world.

Related: How to Duet on TikTok (and Why You Should)

If you are not that happy with the voice that’s in your region, the only way to change it is with third-party tools. Some creators suggest that you record the video with the automatic voice, then export it to an editing app with a voice modifier, such as Voicemod Clip.

Other TikTokers propose that you initially record the video without the voice. Then, you can type the text in a text-to-speech website, such as TTSMP3.com.

After you download the MP3 for the text-to-speech, you need to add it to your video in editing software and upload the new file to TikTok to add the text in the correct places.

These suggestions are time-consuming and not that easy, so if you don’t care that much about the voice, we suggest you just stick to what you get through the app. However, it’s always nice to have options.

The Text-to-Speech Feature Is Just the Tip Of the Iceberg

If you like this feature and the trends that grew thanks to it, you’d probably like to explore other TikTok phenomena.

Luckily, the app has so much more to offer, from filters and effects to a variety of challenges.

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