TikTok is reportedly making strides to enhance its messaging capabilities and position itself as a potential rival to WhatsApp. Despite being known primarily for its engaging video content, TikTok already has messaging features embedded within its platform. However, recent developments suggest that the company is keen on changing its image from just a video-sharing app to a comprehensive social networking platform.
ByteDance has been actively recruiting for various roles within a team named “TikTok Social.” This move indicates a strategic effort to significantly bolster the messaging capabilities of TikTok. The job listings, while maintaining a degree of ambiguity, offer some insight into the company’s future plans. For instance, one listing for an engineering lead states, “We are the messaging team on TikTok. Our team’s mission is to facilitate meaningful user connections through TikTok’s messaging experience, which is still in its infancy.”
Another job listing seeking a backend tech lead mentions collaboration with international teams to develop a unique TikTok social solution, including messaging. Furthermore, a product manager for the TikTok Social team is expected to have a “passion and curiosity for Social direction to create great impacts.” While these listings do not provide explicit details about a specific overarching product plan, they hint at a concerted effort to expand TikTok’s social networking features.
Despite these developments, TikTok maintains that entertainment remains its core focus. However, the job listing for a backend software engineer reveals that the Social team is responsible for overseeing various components, including “User Profile, Story, Inbox, Messaging, Follow, Like, Comment, Tag”. These elements suggest that TikTok is working towards developing a full-fledged messaging app, similar to many of its competitors.
While other platforms are trying to emulate TikTok’s successful short-form video feed, it seems that TikTok is busy incorporating features from other apps. As these developments unfold, it will be interesting to see how TikTok’s efforts to enhance its messaging capabilities will shape its future and potentially redefine its position in the social media landscape.