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TikTok seems to be gearing up for an enormous push into messaging

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There are messaging features inside TikTok, however no one actually thinks of TikTok as a messaging app. The corporate seems intent on altering that, although: its mum or dad firm ByteDance is hiring for a slew of roles on a group known as “TikTok Social,” which appears to be tasked with turning TikTok into a way more highly effective messaging system.

The listings, which were first spotted by Axios, are obscure in the way in which that each one job listings are typically, however they make TikTok’s ambitions clear. “We’re the messaging group on TikTok,” a listing for an engineering lead says. “Our group’s mission is to facilitate significant consumer connections via TikTok’s messaging expertise, which continues to be in its infancy.” One other itemizing, for a backend tech lead, says the particular person’s function will embody collaborating with groups throughout nations and areas “to ship a particular TikTok social answer reminiscent of messaging.” A product supervisor for the TikTok Social group will apparently want “ardour and curiosity for Social path to create nice impacts.”

If there’s a particular overarching product plan, TikTok’s listings don’t reveal it. (Neither will the corporate: it instructed Axios solely that leisure continues to be the core of TikTok.) However the itemizing for a backend software engineer says that the Social group oversees “Consumer Profile, Story, Inbox, Messaging, Observe, Like, Remark, Tag, and so on.” Add all that collectively, and you’ve got … a messaging app! An especially Instagram-sounding messaging app, at that.

Whereas all people else copies TikTok, TikTok’s copying all people else

Finally, it seems that whereas the remainder of the trade chases TikTok’s vertical video, creation instruments, and seemingly magical algorithmic feed, TikTok goes to try to construct the remainder of what makes these different apps work. How far it’s going to go might be fascinating to observe: Will TikTok try to displace Snapchat because the go-to messaging app for younger folks? Will it try to turn into the place folks publish expiring tales? Will it lean into WhatsApp-style group chats and communities or focus extra on one-to-one chats? The place will ByteDance fall on the encrypted messaging debate?

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TikTok is increasing seemingly in all instructions without delay. It’s testing a dedicated music app, attempting to deliver more shopping to the platform, and embracing podcasts. It even recently added text posts, which could match properly in a extra messaging-focused a part of the app. However any app developer will inform you that there’s nothing stickier than being the place folks go to hang around with their mates — and if any app can overthrow the incumbents to turn into that app, it’s TikTok. It’s fairly good at doing that.

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