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Effect guidelines

General submission guidelines

Effects must comply with TikTok’s Terms of Service, Privacy Policy, Community Guidelines, TikTok Effect House Terms of Service, the below Effect Guidelines, and all future policies governing the use of our service. TikTok reserves the right to reject or remove any effects that do not comply with the above terms, policies, or guidelines.

Branded effects

Community Effects may not include advertising, logos or other branding. To learn more about the process for publishing a Branded Effect, please contact the TikTok for Business team or (if relevant) please get in touch with your Account Manager.

Technical requirements

DeviceLoading timePackage sizeImage sizeImage pixel size
iOSMax 4 secondsMax 5 MbMax 1024 KbMax 1024 by 1024
AndroidMax 4 secondsMax 5 MbMax 1024 KbMax 1024 by 1024
  • Blank screen: The effect should not contain a blank screen (e.g., black screen or white screen).
  • Crash: The effect should be stable and run without crashing or lagging.

Even though an effect may pass QA, some effects may not work for lower-end devices (specifically Android devices). These effects will trigger the toast “This effect doesn’t work with this device” since they incorporate more technically demanding features like full body avatar, openGL ES, etc. Many effects are unable to be used by some Android phones due to their devices not supporting the WebGL used in Effect House. Community Effects work on most newer iOS and Android devices and do not currently work on devices equal to or lower than the following models: Samsung Galaxy J3, LG Leon H324, Huawei Honor 4X, and Cubot J3.

Effect detail requirements

  • Name: Every effect submitted by a single user must have a different name. Names must adhere to the content requirements described above.
  • Thumbnail: The thumbnail must adhere to the content requirements described above and to the technical requirements outlined in our Thumbnail creation guide (e.g., rounded corners, transparent bleed zone).
  • Demo video: The demo video should accurately demonstrate the effect’s features, and must adhere to the content requirements described above. See our Demo video creation guide for more info on creating a demo video.
  • Category: The category selected should accurately reflect the effect’s content.
  • Tags: Tags should accurately represent the effect’s content, and must adhere to the content requirements described above.

You may resubmit an effect up to 10 times.

Best Practices

We’re excited to help build TikTok into a place where creators can share, collaborate, and design effects and experiences that inspire our global community. To that end, TikTok is committed to maintaining a safe and welcoming environment for everyone. We prize the global nature of our community and strive to take into account the breadth of cultural norms where we operate.

At TikTok, we prioritize safety, diversity, inclusion, and authenticity as we develop our platform – and that includes our Community Effects. We encourage designers to celebrate what makes them unique and our creators and viewers to engage with what inspires them; we believe that a safe environment helps everyone do so openly. Moreover, we believe people should be able to express themselves creatively and be entertained in a safe, secure, and welcoming environment.

When designing effects for TikTok’s Effect House, consider how creative effects, once applied, make users feel celebrated and empowered. To learn more, please feel free to read the following article on best practices for Effect House designers.

Content requirements

The following submission guidelines are intended to establish norms and a code of conduct that will help creators understand what kind of effect content — the effects themselves, their name, icons, tags, and/or demo videos — is and is not allowed on our platform. The Effect Guidelines will apply to all Community Effects that you see on TikTok – and we will remove any effect if it violates these guidelines. Moreover, we encourage our community members to use the tools we provide on TikTok to report any effects, content, or account they believe violate either these guidelines or our Community Guidelines.

We also recognize that some content that would normally be removed per our guidelines may be in the public interest. Therefore, we may allow exceptions under certain limited circumstances, such as educational, documentary, scientific, artistic, or satirical content, counter-speech, or content that otherwise enables individual expression on topics of social importance. Additionally, we are mindful of content that may be offensive or culturally inappropriate in certain regions, and accordingly some effects may not be available in all countries due to these regional differences.

In consultation with relevant stakeholders, we update our submission guidelines from time to time to evolve alongside new behaviors and risks, as part of our commitment to keeping TikTok a safe place for creativity and joy. Please see our Community Guidelines for more detail regarding content generally prohibited on the TikTok platform.

Violent extremism

We do not allow designers to create effects that use our platform to threaten or incite violence, or promote dangerous individuals or organizations who may attempt to use our platform to incite terrorism, crime, or other types of behavior that could cause harm. As per our Community Guidelines, to effectively protect our community, we may consider off-platform behavior to identify violent and extremist individuals and organizations on our platform. When warranted, we will report threats to relevant legal authorities. If we identify such individuals or organizations, we will close their accounts.

Do not submit the following kinds of content in your effect:

Threats and incitement to violence

  • Content containing statements of intent to inflict physical injuries on an individual or a group
  • Content containing attempts or neutral terminology to incite others to commit violence (including conditional or aspirational statements that encourage other people to commit violence)
  • Content inciting others to inflict permanent and/or potentially life-threatening physical injuries
  • Content calling to bring weapons to a location with the intent to intimidate or threaten an individual or group with violence

Making threats of violence (or the incitement of violence) – what we consider statements that advocate for, direct, or encourage other people to commit violence – violates both our Community Guidelines and submission guidelines, and such content in your effect will be rejected or removed from our platform.

Violent extremist organizations and individuals

  • Content with names, symbols, logos, flags, slogans, uniforms, gestures, salutes, illustrations, portraits, songs, music, lyrics, or other objects meant to represent violent extremist organizations or individuals
  • Content that encourages / admits participation in, or intends to recruit individuals to, violent extremist organizations
  • Content that otherwise praises, promotes, glorifies, or supports violent acts, extremist organizations and/or individuals

Please reference the following section in our Community Guidelines for more information on how we define terrorist organizations, organized hate groups, criminal organizations, and other non-state armed groups that target civilians. We consider content depicting and promoting the above a violation and will reject or remove such effects from our platform.

Illegal activities and regulated goods

We work to ensure that TikTok effects do not enable activities that violate laws or regulations. We prohibit the trade, sale, promotion, and use of certain regulated goods, as well as the depiction, promotion, or facilitation of criminal activities, including human exploitation. Submitted effects may be rejected or removed if they relate to activities or goods that are illegal or regulated in the majority of the region or world, even if the activities or goods in question are legal in the jurisdiction of posting.

Do not submit the following kinds of content in your effect:

Criminal activities

  • Content that promotes or depicts acts of physical harm, such as assault or kidnapping
  • Content that promotes human exploitation, including human smuggling, bonded labor, domestic servitude, sex trafficking, or prostitution
  • Content that promotes vandalism or damage to property
  • Content that promotes the poaching or illegal trade of wildlife
  • Content that offers the purchase, sale, trade, or solicitation of unlawfully acquired or counterfeit goods
  • Content that provides instructions on how to conduct criminal activities that result in harm to people, animals, or property

Drugs, controlled substances, alcohol, and tobacco

  • Content that depicts or promotes drugs, other controlled substances, and related paraphernalia – or content that otherwise encourages others to make, use, or trade drugs, other controlled substances, and related paraphernalia.
  • Content that depicts the purchase, sale, trade, or solicitation of – and/or the promotion of – alcohol, tobacco products, or other illegal or controlled substances.
  • Content that depicts an admission to use of, or simulating the influence of, drugs and other controlled substances.

In certain cases, we may allow exceptions for the neutral depiction of alcohol and tobacco products (e.g. the depiction of such products without visible branding, or such a depiction outside of a Branded Effect, the depiction of a drug with a medical use / justification context) without promoting them in regions where these products are allowed; however, we will avoid promoting these effects, particularly to younger users.

Firearms, firearm accessories, ammunition, explosive weapons

  • The promotion or realistic display of firearms, firearms accessories, ammunition, or explosive weapons
  • Content that offers the purchase, sale, trade, or solicitation of firearms, accessories, ammunition, explosive weapons, or instructions on how to manufacture them

In some cases, we may allow exceptions for effects depicting cartoon, sci-fi, or otherwise unrealistic firearms, accessories, ammunition, and/or explosive weapons that don’t aim at people, animals, and/or other living beings.


  • Content that promotes gambling, whether through advertising for specific institutions, games or sites, offering vouchers, coupons, or loot boxes, or otherwise encouraging or referring others to visit platforms offering gambling activities.

Frauds and scams

  • Content that deliberately deceives people in order to gain an unlawful financial advantage and /or harm others, including schemes to defraud others or steal assets
  • Content that promotes phishing, Ponzi, or pyramid schemes
  • Content that promotes investment schemes with promise of high returns, fixed betting, or any other types of scams
  • Certain content that gift baits (promising something in exchange for receiving a virtual gift)

Privacy, personal data, and personally identifiable information (PII)

  • Content that contains personal data or personally identifiable information (PII), including residential address, private email address, private phone number, bank statement, social security number, or passport number
  • Content that aims to reveal, solicit, or otherwise “dox” someone’s personal data or personally identifiable information, whether by threat or otherwise

Violent and graphic content

We do not allow content that is gratuitously gruesome or shocking, or that promotes, glorifies, or otherwise glamorizes abject violence or suffering.

Do not submit the following kinds of content in your effect:

  • Content that depicts especially vivid, brutal, and realistic acts of violence – whether real, simulated live action, or animated.
  • Content with graphic, audio-based descriptions / depictions of violence involving humans and / or animals, whether in a realistic or fictional setting (including emphasis on sounds of pain, torture, etc.)
  • Content depicting gore in which an open wound or injury is the focus
  • Content depicting bodily mutilation, whether to animals or humans and in a realistic or fictional setting
  • Content depicting real human death and human corpse
  • Content trivializing death or serious illness by trying to predict the user’s death or injury via serious illness (e.g. “Will you die from X serious illness?”)

In certain cases, graphic effects (and content containing such effects) that may upset, shock, or disturb users may be ineligible for recommendation. This includes effect content that is created with the purpose to shock or frighten others when applied – such as scary makeup that depicts a mutilated face or an open wound, or effects would otherwise induce a jump scare through the use of select audiovisual cues (e.g. Musical cues, frightening sounds, etc.)

Dangerous acts and challenges

We do not allow content depicting, promoting, normalizing or glorifying dangerous acts that may lead to serious injury or death. We also do not allow content which promotes or endorses collective participation in dangerous or harmful activities that violate any aspect of our Effect Guidelines or would otherwise violate the Community Guidelines.

We define dangerous acts or other dangerous behavior as activities conducted in a non-professional context or without the necessary skills and safety precautions that may lead to serious injury or death for the user or the public. This includes amateur stunts or dangerous challenges.

Do not submit the following kinds of content in your effect:

  • Content that challenges users to repeat any tricks or acts, whether in a non-professional context, or without the necessary skills and safety precautions, that may lead to serious injury or death.
  • Content that shows or promotes the potentially inappropriate use of dangerous tools or objects (e.g. polls or ratings on how well someone has performed a dangerous act)
  • Content that depicts dangerous driving behavior (e.g. Speedometer, etc)
  • Content that depicts or promotes ingesting substances that are not meant for consumption and could lead to severe harm
  • Content that describes or provides instructional detail on how to perform a dangerous activity
  • Content depicting dangerous games, dares, challenges, or stunts that might lead to injury or property damage

Suicide and self-harm

We remove effects that depict suicide, involve suicidal ideation, or that might encourage suicidal or self-injurious behavior. We also remove effects that depict attempted suicide or behavior likely to lead to self-inflicted death. We prohibit any form of content in effects that promotes, normalizes, or glorifies suicide, provides instructions for suicide, or posts that portray a suicide as heroic or honorable.

Effects that encourage or promote suicide or self-harm hoaxes are also not allowed. This includes alarming warnings that could cause panic and widespread harm. We will remove such warnings, while allowing content that seeks to dispel panic and promote accurate information about such hoaxes.

Do not submit the following kinds of content in your effect:

  • Content that depicts, promotes, normalizes, or otherwise glorifies suicide or self-harm
  • Content that provides instructions for suicide or how to engage in self-harm
  • Suicide or self harm games, dares, challenges, pacts, or hoaxes, or content that otherwise references or depicts such suicide or self harm activities and content

Body Image

TikTok recognizes the global nature of our community, and celebrates the authenticity and creativity of our individual users. We encourage designers to be innovative, while also being inclusive and mindful that they share the platform with users of different ages, shapes, and body types. Furthermore, we remind designers to think about best practices when they create their effects – to consider designs that empower creators and viewers to express themselves, explore their self-identity, and share their creativity in uniquely TikTok ways.

Effects promoting unhealthy eating behaviors or habits that are likely to cause adverse health outcomes are thus not allowed on the platform. This includes effects that promote or glorify drastic weight loss, eating disorders – including expressing desire for an eating disorder, or sharing tips or coaching on disordered eating – and otherwise encouraging, admitting to, or participating in unhealthy body measurement challenges.

We also do not permit content that encourages others to use cosmetic surgery – including through the depiction and promotion of common procedures such as liposuction, facelifts or rhinoplasty.

Do not submit the following kinds of content in your effect:

Disordered eating

  • Content that depicts, promotes, normalizes, or glorifies disordered eating
  • Content that depicts, promotes, normalizes, or glorifies any dangerous weight loss behaviors associated with disordered eating
  • Content that encourages the scrutiny of physical traits by attempting to rate the user(s): either numerically or in a normative manner, including through unhealthy body measurement challenges.
  • Content that otherwise draws attention to target’s specific physical traits or appearance in a manner meant to promote idealized bodies or body parts (e.g. an hourglass waist, “heroin chic”, etc.).

Cosmetic surgery

  • Content that depicts cosmetic surgery, including facelifts, rhinoplasty, lip augmentation (e.g., lip fillers), liposuction, fox eyes, double eyelid surgery, buttock augmentation (e.g. Brazilian Butt Lifts, aka BBLs), etc.
  • Content that endorses, glorifies, encourages, and or provides instructions for cosmetic surgery
  • Content that depicts demarcated lines on the face or body consistent with markings made before plastic surgery

While we do not allow content that promotes or normalizes self-harm, eating disorders or suicide, we may allow content that raises awareness about these issues.

Hateful behavior

TikTok values the diversity of our community, and we work hard to foster a welcoming and inclusive environment. We do not tolerate effects that attack or incite violence against an individual or a group of individuals on the basis of protected attributes. We do not allow content that includes or invoke audiovisual references to hate speech, and we remove it from our platform. Forms of hateful behavior may include, but are not limited to, effect content that promotes discrimination on the basis of skin color and negative / racial stereotypes, sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability. Moreover, we will reject or remove effects depicting or promoting racial stereotypes, particularly those that form generalizations about an entire group – as effects that do so cause social categorization, prejudice and discriminatory behavior contrary to the creativity and authenticity that the platform (and Effect House) champions.

Do not submit the following kinds of content in your effect:

  • Content that uses or includes slurs, or any disparaging terms intending to attack, threaten, incite violence against, or otherwise dehumanize an individual or group based on protected attributes.
  • Content claiming individuals or groups with protected attributes are physically, mentally, or morally inferior or referring to them as animals, inanimate objects, or other non-human entities – and conversely content that claims supremacy over a group of people with reference to protected attributes
  • Content attributing criminal behavior to an individual or group based on protected attributes
  • Content promoting or justifying violence, exclusion, segregation, or discrimination against them, including inciting violence or making a violent threat against individuals or groups with protected attributes
  • Content that targets transgender or non-binary individuals through misgendering or deadnaming
  • Content that depicts harm inflicted upon an individual or a group on the basis of a protected attribute
  • Content depicting identifiers meant to represent and/or promote hateful ideology and their representatives, including names, symbols, logos, flags, slogans, uniforms, gestures, salutes, illustrations, portraits, songs, music, lyrics, or other objects
  • Content that praises, promotes, glorifies, or supports any hateful ideology (e.g. White supremacy, misogyny, etc.)
  • Content that denies well-documented and violent events have taken place affecting groups with protected attributes (e.g., Holocaust denial)
  • Conspiracy theories used to justify hateful ideologies
  • Content that attacks or degrades the concept or ideology of a particular religion or religious figure
  • Content that otherwise mocks or disparages a religion and related paraphernalia / imagery

Stereotypes against protected groups

  • Content that negatively valences and over-generalizes ideas, beliefs, behaviors, or traits attributed to a protected group, or culturally perceived as negative
  • Content that disparages disabled people (e.g., facial features, body changes, other attempts to change user’s appearances)
  • Content that enables users to co-opt ethnic identity traits (blackface, “Asian”-fishing, etc.), or otherwise perpetuates racial stereotypes


Colorism is a practice of discrimination by which those with lighter skin are typically treated more favorably than those with darker skin. This practice is a product of racism, in that it upholds typically white or Eurocentric standards of beauty and benefits white people in the institutions of oppression. We therefore do not allow content that promotes the ideas of colorism.

Do not submit the following kinds of content in your effect:

  • Content that promotes typically white or Eurocentric features as an optimum beauty standard (e.g. altering the nose or eyes to be subtly smaller or larger respectively, suggesting that a user’s facial / physical features should align more closely with said standard of beauty through comparison, depicting / stating that wider/non-Eurocentric noses are less desirable or that a “perfect” nose is thinner, etc.)
  • Content that draws emphasis to skin tone in a manner that suggests a normative hierarchy (either implying one skin tone is superior), or where their intent is to significantly lighten and or darken skin along a naturalistic range of skin tones

Harassment and bullying

Users should feel safe to express themselves without fear of being shamed, humiliated, bullied, or harassed. We deeply understand the psychological distress that abusive content can have on individuals, and we do not tolerate abusive content or behavior on our platform.

Do not submit the following kinds of content in your effect:

  • Degrading statements – language used to disrespect, abuse, or humiliate another person (e.g., threats of attack or assault against a target or their property; wishing death, serious disease, or other serious harm)
  • Digitally altered content with a malicious and/or degrading intent (e.g., targeting other TikTok users with the purpose of damaging their reputation)
  • Content in your effect that includes threats, insults, or abusive language of a sexual nature (e.g., inciting others to make sexualized comments, commentary on sexual anatomy, orientation, sexual activity, threats regarding a person’s private sexual life)

Adult nudity and sexual activities

We do not allow sexually explicit or gratifying content on the Effects Platform, including animated content of this nature. Sexualized content carries many risks, and causes harm to our users through sharing non-consensual intimate imagery (also known as NCSII). We are mindful that some content may be offensive or culturally inappropriate in certain regions or may not be suitable for users of all ages. We may allow exceptions around nudity and sexually explicit content for educational, documentary, scientific, or artistic purposes.

Do not submit the following kinds of content in your effect:

Sexual exploitation

  • Effects that depict, solicit, promote, normalize, or glorify non-consensual sexual acts or non-consensual touching, including rape and sexual assault
  • Effects that depict, solicit, promote, normalize, or glorify the sharing of non-consensual intimate imagery, including sexual images that are taken, created, or shared without consent
  • Effects that depict, solicit, promote, normalize, or glorify sexual violence
  • Effects that depict, promote, or glorify sexual solicitation, including offering or asking for sexual partners, sexual chats or imagery, sexual services, premium sexual content, or sexcamming

Nudity and sexual activity involving adults

  • Effects that explicitly or implicitly depict sexual activities including penetrative and non-penetrative sex, oral sex, or erotic kissing
  • Effects that depict sexual arousal or sexual stimulation
  • Effects that depict a sexual fetish
  • Effects that depict genitals, buttocks, the pubic region, or female nipples
  • Effects that contain sexually explicit language for sexual gratification (e.g., language depicting sexual acts or stimulation, or language depicting genitalia, female nipples or areola, pubic regions, or buttocks)

Overtly sexualized content

  • Effects that depict implied nudity, sexualizing body parts, or is blatantly erotic or sensual (e.g., strip teases)

Minor safety

We are deeply committed to protecting the safety of minors on our platform. TikTok defines a minor as any person under the age of 18. We prohibit activities that perpetuate the abuse, harm, endangerment, or exploitation of minors on TikTok. Any content, including animation or digitally created or manipulated media, that depicts abuse, exploitation, or endangerment of minors is a violation on our platform and will be removed when detected. We report child sexual abuse material (CSAM) and supporting evidence to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) and to any additional relevant legal authorities.

Do not submit the following kinds of content in your effect:

Sexual exploitation of minors

  • Effects that share, reshare, offers to trade or sell, or directs users off platform to obtain or distribute CSAM
  • Effects that depict, solicit, glorify, or encourage child abuse imagery including nudity, sexualized minors, or sexual activity with minors
  • Effects that depict, promote, normalize, or glorify pedophilia or the sexual assault of a minor

Nudity and sexual activity involving minors

  • Effects that depict or imply minor sexual activities including penetrative and non-penetrative sex, oral sex, or intimate kissing
  • Effects that depict sexual arousal or sexual stimulation involving a minor
  • Effects that depict a sexual fetish involving a minor
  • Effects that depict exposed genitals, buttocks, the pubic region, or female nipples of a minor
  • Effects that contain sexually explicit language depicting or describing a minor
  • Effects with sexually explicit dancing of a minor, including twerking, breast shaking, pelvic thrusting, or fondling the groin or breasts of oneself or another
  • Effects depicting minor undressing
  • Effects depicting a minor in minimal clothing
  • Sexualized comments, emojis, text, or other graphics used to veil or imply nudity or sexual activity of a minor

Harmful activities by minors

  • Effects that suggest, depict, imitate, or promote the possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages, tobacco, or drugs by a minor

Physical and psychological harm of minors

  • Effects that depict or promote physical abuse, neglect, endangerment, or psychological disparagement of minors

Integrity and authenticity

We believe that trust forms the foundation of our community. We do not allow activities that may undermine the integrity of our platform or the authenticity of our users. We remove effects that involve spam or fake engagement, impersonation, or misleading information that causes significant harm.

Do not submit the following kinds of content in your effect:

Spam and fake engagement

  • Effects or effect content that presents methods to generate artificial traffic
  • Effects or effect content that mimics platform functions in a misleading way (e.g., soliciting mutual interactions such as like-for-like / follow-for-follow, guiding or tricking users into clicking platform buttons)

Harmful misinformation

  • Misinformation that incites hate or prejudice
  • Misinformation related to emergencies that induces panic
  • Medical misinformation that can cause harm to an individual’s physical health
  • Effect that misleads community members about elections or other civic processes
  • Conspiratorial effects that attacks a specific person or a protected group, include a violent call to action, or deny a violent or tragic event occurred
  • Digital Forgeries (Synthetic Media or Manipulated Media) that mislead users by distorting the truth of events and cause significant harm to the subject of the video, other persons, or society

Low-quality and QR code content

  • Effects or effect content that depicts QR codes or links to external websites
  • Effects that depict a fully static image without any user interaction


People with photosensitive epilepsy may have seizures triggered by displays that flicker, flash, or blink. This is particularly the case if the flash has a high intensity and is within certain frequency ranges. Given our desire to protect vulnerable users, we will mark the effects that may trigger photosensitive epilepsy with a warning tag. These include effects that have flashing lights or contrasting patterns.

Intellectual property and other rights

  • We do not allow content that infringes upon or violates any right of TikTok, its affiliates, or any other third parties, including, without limitation, copyrights, neighboring rights, patents, trademarks, industrial designs, trade secrets, privacy, publicity, use of likeness, or other personal or property rights.
  • Under certain circumstances, the use of copyrighted work or a trademark, such as the fair use doctrine or other applicable laws, may not be regarded as a violation of such rights. Otherwise, you must obtain rights, licenses, permissions, clearances and/or approvals necessary in connection with the content you submit. This includes obtaining all necessary rights for musical works and/or sound recording embodied in the content, and being solely liable to pay all applicable royalties for the musical works and/or sound recording.
  • Third parties that suspect copyright infringement can follow the instructions at the following link, and suspect trademark infringement can follow the instructions at the following link.

Report an effect

If you see an effect that you think may violate our Effect Guidelines, you can report it here. Other issues, bugs or questions related to effects can be submitted here or in the TikTok app by going to your profile page, tapping the button on the top right, and choosing “Report a problem.” For IP infringement reporting issues, please follow the flow described in the Intellectual property infringement section.