You may have noticed a change to your TikTok tabs in recent 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 connections, as opposed to broader trending content discovery in the app.
Now TikTok has confirmed that this change is being expanded to even more users.
As we continue to celebrate community and creativity, we’re bringing a Friends Tab to more people over the coming weeks, which will allow you to easily find and enjoy content from people you’re connected with, so you can choose even more ways to be entertained on TikTok. pic.twitter.com/GdVpPbxio6
– TikTokComms (ikTikTokComms) May 5, 2022
As you can see, the Friends tab will highlight posts from followers that you follow back, accounts that you follow, and other suggestions.
The tab will also prompt 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 slow TikTok’s growth).
But you already have a ‘Following’ feed on the main page, right? Do you really need a ‘Friends’ tab as well?
Well, TikTok’s obviously trying to generate more direct engagement in the app, and enhance friend networks – because if it can become a more important, interpersonal connective app, as opposed to just showing you the latest trending clips, that could not only make it 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 does that go now?
Discovery on TikTok is largely fed through the ‘For You’ feed anyway, which is the primary entry point, while TikTok must have also found that most people conduct specific searches via the magnifying glass icon at the top right of the main feed, as opposed to using Discover.
But it does seem to limit discovery. Again, TikTok must see more value in connecting friends, in terms of encouraging return visits, than showcasing the latest trends, while there are also suggested searches that point to trends as well.
It’ll be interesting to see whether TikTok does move forward with a bigger roll out of this test, and what that means for usage of the app. Maybe, if TikTok can prompt more personal sharing, then it can move into the territory of Snapchat, or eat further into Instagram’s market share, because more people will be conducting more of their interactions in TikTok instead.
It’s an interesting move, which could be significant. But could also have impacts on broader trend engagement.
As TikTok notes, more users will see the ‘Friends’ tab over the coming weeks.