TikTok is quietly expanding its use of direct messaging. It’s just the latest way TikTok is grafting social network features onto its entertainment feed, as it tries to boost time spent on the app.

Users who want to receive DMs can now opt in to receive messages from everyone, as well as recommended friends.

These latest options should encourage more users to send TikTok videos to friends and others directly on the app, rather than through other services like iMessage or WhatsApp, and could help creators deepen bonds with their followers on the app.

After a rapid, pandemic-buoyed rise, TikTok needs to find new ways to grow and evolve its product. Most users don’t post on TikTok, but go there to watch creators and be entertained. Messaging features could be a way to engage regular users.

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