You may have noticed a change to your TikTok tabs in the past few weeks.
Some users have reported that the Discover tab has changed to a new Friends tab insteadwhich is a showcase of videos posted by your contacts as opposed to a broader search for trending content within the app.
Now TikTok has confirmed that this change will be extended to even more users.
As we continue to celebrate community and creativity, in the coming weeks we’re bringing more people a Friends tab that allows you to easily find and enjoy content from people you connect with, giving you even more ways to to choose to be entertained on TikTok. pic.twitter.com/GdVpPbxio6
— TikTokComms (@TikTokComms) May 5, 2022
As you can see, the Friends tab is highlighted Posts from followers you follow, accounts you follow, and other suggestions.
The tab also encourages you to connect with more people to expand your in-app interactions – with a particularly cheeky prompt to connect with Facebook friends (given Meta’s ongoing efforts to support TikTok’s growth slow it down).
But you already have a “Following” feed on the main page, right? Do you really need a “Friends” tab too?
Well, TikTok is obviously trying to generate more direct in-app engagement and improve friend networks — because if it can become a more important, interpersonal connecting app, instead of just showing you the latest trending clips, it might not just become a more valuable tool for more people, but it will also help TikTok get even more users to sign up as it looks to expand beyond its first billion members.
So what about ‘Discover’, where is it going now?
Most of the discovery on TikTok is anyway fed through the “For You” feed, which is the primary entry point, while TikTok must also have found that most people conduct specific searches through the magnifying glass icon at the top right of the main feed, in contrast to Using Discover.
But it seems to limit discovery. Again, TikTok needs to see more value in connecting friends to encourage repeat visits than showcasing the latest trends, while also having suggested searches that also indicate trends.
It will be interesting to see if TikTok moves forward with a larger rollout of this test and what that means for usage of the app. If TikTok can encourage more in-person sharing, maybe it can move into Snapchat’s territory or eat its way further into Instagram’s market share because more people will conduct more of their interactions on TikTok instead.
It’s an interesting move that could be significant. But could also have implications for broader trend engagement.
As TikTok notes, more users will see the Friends tab in the coming weeks.