Augmenting reality, and the user experience

Social media filters platform naming

TikTok, the world’s preeminent video-focused social network, allows users to create short-form music and other videos. Always striving to amplify engagement and enhance creator capabilities, TikTok developed an augmented-reality platform to allow for the creation of custom “effects” (considerably more sophisticated than tools offered by Snap and Meta). This would be a place where the entire TikTok creative community—from beginner to advanced designers and developers—could contribute to the app’s features and experiences. It enables people to build new camera effects, helping to keep the TikTok audience engaged while outsourcing new effect development to the users who know best what they want to see.

Of course this platform needed a name, and they called on yours truly to name this initiative and several others.

Effect House, the name Catchword created, Tik’d all the boxes. While perfectly telegraphic of an effects platform, the name strongly implies an online destination—a digital dwelling and repository for creators’ cool creations. Moreover, the name reinforces the company’s focus on community, with House strongly signaling a familial, cooperative, and supportive creative environment.

Effect House launched in closed beta in late 2021, blowing up in major media and social networks. In April 2022, the company opened it to everyone, noting that since the closed beta alone, the effects published had inspired the creation of more than 1.5 billion videos that captured 600+ billion views around the world.


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TikTok / Bytedance
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Media & Entertainment
Product Naming

“I’m blown away by how quickly my effects and videos have reached new audiences. In my first week using Effect House I’ve made 18 effects which have collectively reached more 100 million people worldwide.… I’ve jotted down hundreds of effect ideas that people have requested in the comments. At this point, I’m not lacking in effect ideas, but hours in the day to bring them to life.”

Laura Gouillon | TitTok creator

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