TikTok is testing a new feature that would allow for a distraction-free scrolling experience on the app, the company confirmed to TechCrunch. The new feature, which is called "clear mode," is currently in limited testing with select users. Clear mode gets rid of all of the clutter on-screen, such as captions and buttons, when viewing content on the app.
The new setting was spotted by users and highlighted by social media consultant Matt Navarra on Twitter. The screenshots posted by users show that once clear mode is activated, you'll no longer see usernames, captions, audio information and more. In some cases, it appears that you can get rid of the like, comments and share buttons as well in order to have a completely distraction-free viewing experience.
— Matt Navarra (@MattNavarra) May 26, 2022
Users who are part of the limited test and have access to clear mode will see the option when they tap and hold the screen. Once you do so, the "Clear Mode" setting will appear under the "Add to Favorites" button in the menu. Clicking on that will trigger the distraction-free viewing experience.
If fully rolled out, the new feature could be a welcome addition for people who want to get rid of the clutter on-screen and just focus on the content they're viewing. Clear mode could also be useful in instances where usernames and captions end up covering important parts of a video. In addition, viewers will often comment "crop" on a video, indicating that they want the user to reupload the video so that it can be screenshot and cropped without any captions or buttons obstructing the content. Activating clear mode could get rid of this problem.
TikTok said it doesn't have much to share on the test at this time. Considering clear mode is in limited testing, it's unknown when or if TikTok plans to roll it out more widely.
TikTok is currently testing a number of new changes for its platform, as it was recently revealed that the company is further investing in HTML5 games. It appears TikTok is also working on a LIVE mobile gaming feature that would allow creators to better engage fans while livestreaming. TikTok has also started testing a way for users to identify comments that they think are irrelevant or inappropriate via a private dislike button. Once a user dislikes a comment, the dislike won’t be public and commenters won’t be notified that their comment has been disliked.