How to Add Friends on TikTok in 5 Ways: Step-by-step guide

“Adding friends” on TikTok is a multi-layered topic with various aspects to consider. If you want to add someone to TikTok, the first piece of information to assimilate is that you can only “Follow” someone on TikTok and not directly add someone as your friend. To be “friends’ on TikTok, you need to mutually follow each other.

So, let’s begin with the question — What is the difference between a “friend” and a “follower” on TikTok? If you follow someone on TikTok and they don’t follow you back, then you remain just a “follower” of that user. It is just the same if you do not follow back someone who follows you on the app — their status is limited to a follower. However, when you follow mutually, you get labeled as “Friends” when viewed through each other’s profiles.

Now that the concepts of “friend” and “follower” on TikTok have been clearly delineated, let us take a look at the various ways to add someone on TikTok.

Related: Top 7 Ways to Save or Download TikTok Videos Without Watermark

How to add friends on TikTok

Adding friends on TikTok has a broader scope because TikTok does allow you to follow or add people from your contacts or someone you know on the app to your profile. The methods include dredging up related contacts from your device or even looking up someone using their username. Here are all the ways to add friends on TikTok.

Method 1: Find and add someone by username using TikTok Discover

The easiest and natural course of action to follow someone on TikTok is by hitting the Follow/Follow back button by visiting their profile. However, this method is to add someone who already has a TikTok account and you possess information about their username. Let’s see how it is done.

Launch TikTok on your device.

Tap Discover to go to the discover page.

Enter the username of the account you wish to follow in the search box. Tap Follow or Follow back against the name in the search result.

If you become mutual friends with the event, label turns “Friends”. However, if it is an unreciprocated gesture, you will see the “Following” label indicating that your follow them but they do not follow back as shown in the screenshot below.

Related: How to Add Another Account on TikTok

Method 2: Add someone using QR code on TikTok

QR code scanning is a two way street, you can add them or they can add you as long one party shows their QR code to the other. Let’s see how it is done.

Find and add someone using their QR code on TikTok

QR codes can be scanned right on the spot from device to device or shared online in message form for one user to go to someone’s profile directly using it.

Launch TikTok on your device.

Tap the profile icon with a plus sign on the top left corner to add a friend.

Hit the scanner icon on the top right corner of the page.

You can either scan someone’s TikTok QR code or even allow others to scan yours. To allow others to scan your QR code, tap Your QR code.

Allow the other person to scan your code to go to your profile and follow you. Tap the arrow button to go back to the scanner.

Use the scanner to scan your friend’s QR code by aligning the scanner screen against the QR code.

You get redirected to their profile. Hit Follow/Follow back to add them. 

QR codes can be downloaded or shared virtually making it a convenient tool to add contacts within your physical reach or even beyond.

Where to find your QR code on TikTok?

We already found out from the guide above that your QR scanner also has a shortcut portal to your own QR code. Alternatively, you can find your QR code under your profile settings.

Launch TikTok on your device.

Tap the profile icon to go to your profile.

Hit the burger button to view the options.

Tap Settings and privacy.

Under ACCOUNT, tap QR Code.

You can download the QR code, share it over social media apps, or allow other to scan it in real time. Hit the Scanner icon on the top right to scan someone else’s code.

The QR code is the direct portal to someone’s profile.To follow someone, you need to tap the Follow button.

Related: Top 3 Ways to Add TikTok Bio Link

Method 3: Follow someone from their video on TikTok

When you watch a video your For You feed or you stumbled upon in your TikTok Discover, there are times you wish to follow the creator to be on the loop about their new videos. TikTok devs had the insight to add a ‘quick add’ button right on the video to follow someone on TikTok. Here is how it is done.

On TikTok, when you are on the video of someone you wish to follow, tap the “+” button on their profile picture.

The screenshot below shows how their profile icon changes to indicate that you follow them. Just tap the profile picture to go to their profile if you wish to unfollow them.

That’s it, really, you can follow them in just one breezy step and be posted about their new updates. 

Method 4: Invite someone using the ‘Add Friend’ option

There are 3 ways to invite someone to TikTok using the Add friend button on TikTok. You can send an invitation to your contacts over the various networking apps, via SMS or through Facebook. Take a look at the methods here.

Option 4.1: Invite Contacts on TikTok

When you start using the app, one of the first system prompts you receive is to add friends from your contact list who are already on TikTok. It is okay if you skipped that ordeal, because most people do. And of course you can add friends from your contacts any time in the future following the simple steps below.

Open the Settings app on your phone.

Open TikTok app settings to view the app permissions.

Toggle on Contacts.

Now, launch TikTok on your device.

Tap the profile icon to go to your profile.

Tap the profile icon with a plus sign on the top left corner to add a friend.

Under Find Friends, there is a search box to look up a user by their username. Enter the username in the search box.

The more specific your entry, the higher the chances of the account showing up as the top search result. Tap Follow or Follow back (if they already follow you) to add them to your account.

The label turns to Following after the process. Hit Cancel to return to the Find Friends page.

Tap Invite friends.

Under you will see an Invite button against their name to invite them SMS. 

Alternatively, you can invite people using the various social media apps listed at the top. For demonstration, let’s go with WhatsApp.

Select the contacts you wish to invite and tap Next.

Tap Send to proceed from the edit and preview screen.

Your invitation for them to join TikTok thus gets delivered as shown in the screenshot below.

Option 4.2: Find Contacts on TikTok

Launch TikTok on your device.

Tap the profile icon to go to your profile.

Tap the profile icon with a plus sign on the top left corner to add a friend.

Hit Contacts.

If your contacts are not on TikTok yet, you will see an Invite button against their name. Hit Invite to send an invitation to them to join the app. 

The invitation is sent via SMS using your mobile carrier and charges may apply. Once they join the app, you can follow them by username or visiting their profile.

Option 4.3: Invite friends to TikTok via Facebook

Launch TikTok on your device.

Tap the profile icon to go to your profile.

Tap the profile icon with a plus sign on the top left corner to add a friend.

Tap Facebook friends.

Tap Continue on the popup to allow the app to sign into Facebook.

Log in to your Facebook account. If it is a first time log in through the app, you have to enter your credentials to log in. Otherwise, tap Continue as shown below to proceed.

When you log in, you will see a prompt to invite friends to add you on TikTok. Tap the red Invite button.

Enter a caption or message in the text box and hit Post to invite your friends to download TikTok.

Method 5: Using referral code

Step 1: Launch TikTok and tap the profile icon to go to your profile.

Step 2: Tap the “coins” button on the top-left corner of the page.

Step 3: Once you land on the rewards page, tap the Invite button featured at the top of the page.

Step 4: Tap the Earn points tab.

Step 5: Hit Invite against your unique referral code. You can also tap the copy button against your referral code to fetch it and send it to your contact.

Step 6: A popup asks for the medium of invitation viz Copy link, WhatsApp, Facebook, and SMS. Select an option to invite a friend to join TikTok using your unique referral code.


What’s the difference between a “friend” and a “follower” on TikTok?

A follower is someone who follows another account without being followed back by that account. For instance, if you follow someone without being followed back by them, you are their follower. However, if they follow you back, you become mutual followers. Mutual followers on TikTok are called “Friends”. On TikTok, when you add someone who doesn’t have you in their “following” list, you only become a follower unless and until they return the gesture.

How to send a friend request on TikTok?

There is no concept of “friend request” on TikTok the way things are on other social media platforms like Facebook. When you “Follow” someone on TikTok, the other party gets notified by the system about the event with a prompt to “Follow back”. It is up to them to follow back or not, but that doesn’t stop you from following them (unless you are blocked, of course!). The downside is, if the other party is too protective of their content and posts videos in “Friends only” or “Private” settings, then you won’t be privy to them until and unless they accept you as a “Friend” on TikTok by following you back on TikTok.

How can I find out to whom I sent a friend request to on TikTok?

Well, if you accidentally followed someone on TikTok and wish to undo the activity, your only option is to visit their profile to unfollow them. Even though there is no “follow list” per say, you can still easily find all the accounts you follow (without being followed back) by reviewing the “following” list on your profile. All the accounts that read “Following” are the ones you follow without being followed back as opposed to ones labeled “Friends” with whom you share a “mutual following” relationship.

How do you find friends on Tik Tok?

To find friends from the real 3-D world, you can use the Add friend button to invite your friends from the real world over to the world of TikTok. The ones who are already on TikTok are easier to find and connect with as long as you know their username. Just look up their username in the search bar on the Discover page to find them.

How to search for friends on TikTok?

There are two ways to search for friends on TikTok and both require that you know their username. Use the search box on the Discover page or the Find Friends page (under the Add friend button) to look them up by their username and follow or DM them on TikTok.

What is ‘friends only’ on TikTok?

“Friends only” is a privacy setting that allow you to keep your uploads and videos within the reach of a filtered community. The filtered community is your list of “Friends”. When you set or change the privacy settings of a video under “Who can view this video” to “Friends”, then only your friends (mutual follows) are given the privilege to view your videos and uploads.

Similarly, if you set your profile to Private, only the people in your friends list (mutual follows) can view your content. The feature serves quite the purpose if you share sensitive or private content that you only wish to share with a trusted group of friends on the app.

How to find Followers Requests on Tiktok?

On TikTok, no one needs permission to follow another account. However, the privacy and security settings also see to it that you can limit the viewability and accessibility of your content only to those you approve of. 

So, when someone follows you on TikTok, you get notified of the event and the prompt to “Follow back”, which can all be found on the Inbox page of your app where all the notifications are grouped and displayed. You cannot really approve friend requests on TikTok, but only “block” them to stop them from viewing or account or by setting your video or profile to friends or private mode. That is to say Follower Requests on TikTok can be understood as “Follow back” on TikTok to allow or deny someone access to your videos and content.

How to add Instagram friends on TikTok?

There is no option to add friends from Instagram on TikTok at present. However, under the Add friends button on your profile, you will find an option to “Find Facebook Friends”. Again, this is just an option to broadcast a message on the platform telling your friends to find you on TikTok.