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TikTok Aims To Keep Users on App Through Improved Social Options

TikTok is an app that at its core serves up viral entertainment. It’s not the palace you go to check in on what your real life friends are up to. New job listings by the company suggest however that they would like to change that a little bit. Job listings for a Product Manager and Social Interaction engineers give a hint that the social media giant is attempting to up its social game for users. 

The app does have DM capabilities but they are currently quite limited in terms of functionality. It’s much more likely that when you find a TikTok that is interesting or funny, users leave the platform to share it with their friends on Whatsapp or whatever social messaging platform they favour. The role of the new Product Manager at TikTok however is to: “to expand the boundaries of TikTok by encouraging building meaningful social connections between users.” The listings for engineer roles would suggest that in-app messaging is a big component of that.

TikTok is in the process of adding more shopping features on the app too. This will allow users to make purchases on products advertised in posts directly through the app. This is a big component of why the company might be looking to improve social interaction between friends and potential friends on the app. The key is to increase the time spent in the app, and therefore increase the chances of features like shopping to be used. 

TikTok wants its app to be able to provide all users need in one space, rather than users who flip back and forth from the app. Improving social discovery options is certainly one way this could look to be achieved, and something we are seeing other large social networks trend towards. Take Instagram’s increased focus on close friends in recent updates for example.

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