There are messaging features within TikTok, but no one really thinks of TikTok as a messaging app. However, the company seems determined to change that: Its parent company, ByteDance, is hiring to a series of roles in a team called “TikTok Social”, which seems to be tasked with turning TikTok into a much more powerful messaging system.
The listings, which were first seen by axios, they’re vague as all job postings tend to be, but they make TikTok’s ambitions clear. “We are the messaging team at TikTok,” he said. listing for an engineering leader says. “Our team’s mission is to facilitate meaningful user connections through the TikTok messaging experience, which is still in its infancy.” Another list, for a backend technology leader, says the person’s role will include collaborating with teams across countries and regions “to deliver a distinctive TikTok social solution, such as messaging.” Apparently, a TikTok social product manager will need “passion and curiosity for social direction to create big impacts.”
If there is a specific general product plan, the TikTok listings do not disclose it. (The company won’t either: he told her axios it’s just that entertainment is still at the core of TikTok). But the list of a backend software engineer it says that the social team monitors “User Profile, Story, Inbox, Messaging, Follow, Like, Comment, Tag, etc.” Add all that up and you have… a messaging app! A messaging app that sounds very Instagram-like, by the way.
While everyone else copies TikTok, TikTok copies everyone else
Ultimately, it seems that while the rest of the industry chases TikTok’s vertical videos, creation tools, and seemingly magical algorithmic feed, TikTok will try to build the rest of what makes those other apps tick. It will be fascinating to see how far it will go: Will TikTok try to displace Snapchat as the messaging app of choice for young people? Will you try to become he Where do people post expiring stories? Will it rely on WhatsApp-style group chats and communities, or will it focus more on one-on-one chats? Where will ByteDance fall in the encrypted messaging debate?
TikTok is expanding in seemingly every direction at once. It is testing a dedicated music app, trying to attract more purchases to the platform, and embracing podcasts. It even recently added text posts, which could fit well into a more messaging-focused part of the app. But any app developer will tell you that there’s nothing more complicated than being the place where people hang out with their friends, and if any app can topple current ones to become that app, it’s TikTok. He’s pretty good at doing that.