Some TikTok users have started noticing a “Clear Mode” option, which lets them watch a video without the UI overlay that usually shows things like the favorite and comment buttons and other info about the video.
Those that are in the test group (which includes at least two Verge staffers) can access clear mode by pressing and holding on a video, then tapping the Clear Mode button on the menu that pops up.
If you activate Clear Mode, you’ll be able to watch a TikTok without all the window chrome, but if you scroll to the next video, the UI comes back, and you’ll have to reenable clear mode if you want to get the true full-screen video experience.
That’s not how I’d expect it to work, but it would make some sense for the company to build the feature this way; it makes sure that you’ll at least have the chance to see who made the video and what sound it’s using.
I was able to use Clear Mode across TikTok — it was available when I was looking at the For You page, as well as on people’s profiles and even in videos that had been DM’d to me.
It didn’t show up for ads, and interestingly enough, it wasn’t available when I was screen recording. In theory, that’ll help prevent people from using Clear Mode to steal content and pass it off as their own.
I don’t want to oversell this change, but to me, it makes the app feel useable. I’ve always hated how the UI, which mostly contains info I don’t care about, covers up a significant percentage of the video that I’m trying to watch.