TikTok, the reigning champion of short-form video, is embarking on a significant expansion into the realm of social engagement. Recent job postings reveal the platform’s intentions to introduce features such as messaging, enhanced sharing options, in-stream chats, and more, possibly challenging Meta’s dominance.

Recruitment Efforts

As reported by Axios, TikTok is actively recruiting Android and iOS engineers in San Jose, California, with a clear mission – to create a platform where users can seamlessly connect with their real-life friends and share their moments regardless of location. Another job listing for a “TikTok Social” product manager suggests a commitment to fostering meaningful social connections among users.

Departure from Traditional Focus

This marks a departure from TikTok’s traditional focus, which has primarily leveraged its powerful AI to curate and showcase viral video content. Unlike other social media platforms, TikTok has strayed away from the concept of users interacting mainly with their existing networks. However, TikTok has recognized a growing trend: users frequently share TikTok content off-platform and discuss it on other apps, particularly through direct messages (DMs) within smaller groups. This shift has prompted TikTok to explore in-stream engagement opportunities.

Emulating Meta’s Features

Intriguingly, TikTok seems to be considering replicating some of Meta’s features, marking a reversal of the usual trend of imitation in the tech industry. This shift in focus aligns with TikTok’s aspirations to become a comprehensive social platform.

Expanding Utility and Revenue Streams

While TikTok already offers basic messaging, it lacks an emphasis on building social networks within the app, which has resulted in users maintaining more extensive and specific connections on other platforms. By encouraging users to engage more within TikTok itself, the platform aims to enhance its overall utility and expand into various new areas, such as e-commerce and in-stream purchases. TikTok has found immense success with in-stream shopping in Asian markets, and increasing user engagement within the app could further fuel this revenue stream. By fostering habitual behaviors like connecting with brands and exchanging product-related DMs, TikTok hopes to create a broader range of engagement opportunities.

While specific details are still scarce, it’s clear that TikTok is gearing up to venture into new frontiers of engagement. We’ll be closely monitoring these developments and keeping you updated on TikTok’s progress.

Stay tuned for more updates on this evolving story.

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