As confirmed via, their Twitter channel – TikTok are pushing forward with rolling out a new ‘Friends’ tab to replace the classic ‘Discover’ tab on the platform.
“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,” TikTok Tweeted.
The ‘Friends’ tab will be exactly what the name suggests: a collection of content posted by your connections (users that you follow who also follow you back), as opposed to the ‘Discover’ tab which was a showcase of broader trending content.
There is also a new option to connect with your friends on Facebook (we somehow think Meta will not approve of this).
This move by TikTok seems to be a clear indication that they are veering slightly away from the traditional ‘trending’ model that has made them so successful to incorporate more direct engagement between users.
The update certainly takes TikTok one step closer to becoming a more network-based app as opposed to just highlighting trends – closing the USP gap between itself and apps including Instagram and Snapchat.
With Meta making it crystal clear that their focus has shifted heavily towards delivering video content, this is likely TikTok’s response to maintaining and growing their share of the Social Media market.
So what does this mean for Social Media Marketers?
Until we see how this impacts the reach of trending content, it is hard to say what kind of considerations SMMs will need to take in order to maintain momentum on TikTok.
While trending content is largely fed through to the user via the ‘For You’ feed, removing the ‘Discovery’ tab will impact the level of reach and engagement certain users will be able to achieve. In other words, someone will inevitably miss out on some organic metrics due to this update, the question is, who and how much?
If TikTok is an important part of your marketing strategy, this update should not discourage you. TikTok will always be geared towards viral trends and widespread organic engagement. It will be more important than ever to keep an eye on your metrics over the coming months and see how they are impacted. If you see a decline in your organic reach, you can assume most users are feeling the same – which sounds to us like a good excuse to start working on some new fun content!