It is attempting to maximize on its present opportunity while also solidifying its position as a significant platform within the larger social media landscape. TikTok is fast expanding its platform and capabilities in order to do so.

The platform’s latest development on this front comes in the form of its own AR effects studio, which, like Facebook and Snapchat, would enable AR creators to build their own effects for the platform, expanding its pool of creative, interactive user options.

As you can see in this tweet, shared by social media expert Matt Navarra (via Sam Schmir), TikTok’s new ‘Effect House’ is currently open to selected developers as part of initial testing of the tool.

TikTok has confirmed to TechCrunch that the new platform launched earlier in the month, though it’s still in its early stages, and is not open for general access as yet. But eventually, the plan would be to open its Effects House platform to all creators, like Facebook’s Spark AR platform and Snapchat’s Lens Studio, providing more capacity for people to build their own visual effects, utilizing TikTok’s various AR functions to create whole new user experiences within the app.

The reasoning behind this is perfectly sound. By making the tools available to a larger number of producers, you increase your chances of discovering the next great viral trend, which will in turn attract even more users to the app. Limiting that creative capacity to your internal teams restricts your general development options in this regard, and as TikTok strives to provide a more inclusive platform for creators so that they can monetize their work and become more reliant on the app, this is another important step in strengthening those connections with the community.

And facilitating effects creation can definitely be a powerful driver of in-app engagement. Last September, Facebook reported that more than 400,000 AR creators had published over 1.2 million effects on Facebook and Instagram via its Spark platform, with many of those effects seeing more than a billion views. Snapchat, meanwhile, says that more than 200,000 creators have built over 2 million new Lenses in Snapchat’s Lens Studio, which have also helped drive massive engagement in its app.

Given the numbers, it appears to be a logical progression for TikTok to move in the same direction. This could open up a slew of new opportunities for the company to create new experiences, as well as encourage more TikTok users to stay in the app for even longer periods of time as the company expands further into the space.

We’ll keep you informed if and when any progress is made on this front.