TikTok has become a rising platform for creators to share their voices online. But few voices on TikTok are as recognizable as its default text-to-speech bot known as “Jessie.” Having debuted in May 2021 as a revamp on the prior default voice, Jessie has become the official narrator of countless viral videos. If you’ve been noticing her peppy candor on videos, or the voices of her fellow preset text-to-speech bots Joey, Eddie, Chris, Alex, and Scream, you might be wondering how to use the TikTok text-to-speech feature.
One of the greatest benefits of TikTok’s text-to-speech is that it enhances the accessibility of the app for people with visual impairments, so that they can watch TikToks without needing to read any text on the screen. It has already become somewhat standard for creators to provide closed captioning on their videos for deaf, Deaf, or hard of hearing users, which has since been facilitated by TikTok’s auto-captioning feature. So, using text-to-speech can go hand-in-hand with using closed captions, by simply turning on the text-to-speech feature when you offer closed captions on a video. It’s an easy way of making TikTok an easier place for everyone to enjoy.
If you’ve been wanting to implement the feature on your own videos, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to use TikTok’s text-to-speech feature.
How To Use TikTok’s Text-to-Speech Feature
To use text-to-speech on your next TikTok video, shoot the TikTok as you normally would on the app by hitting the plus sign in the middle of your bottom tab on the app. Choose between 15 seconds, 30 seconds, or 3 minutes as your time limit on the video, then shoot the video as you normally would. Once you’re done, click the red check mark in the bottom right of your screen to edit your footage.
Next, add whatever text you’re planning to use on your TikTok. To do this, click the “Aa” icon on the bottom of your screen, and type whatever message you wish. You can also format the appearance of your text, where it will appear on the screen, and at what point of the video it will appear with “Set duration.” (While you can add closed captions manually or automatically on TikTok, it’s not ideal to add text-to-speech to any captions that you’re already saying out loud in the video - as the text-to-speech voice will just talk over yours.)
Once you have your text written out, you can add text-to-speech in one of two ways. While you’re still editing your text, you can select text-to-speech with the third icon from the left that looks like a talking head. If you’ve already added your text to the video, you can choose to add text-to-speech by clicking on the text and selecting the talking head icon.
From here, you’ll be prompted to choose from TikTok’s preset selection of voices. Jessie is the default voice with an American accent, and Joey and Alex also speak in American accents. Eddie and Chris speak in Australian accents, and Scream speaks like Ghostface from Scream. Choose your favorite voice, and, voila. Your text will be immediately read by the TikTok text-to-speech bot. (Though, there’s no guarantee that the bot will know how to pronounce all of your text — as TikTokers have found with some hilarious faux pas.)