Finding local restaurant recommendations - and neighbours - could become simpler for TikTok users as the app tests a new "Nearby" feed.
Aug. 29, 2022
JORDAN HART, BUSINESS INSIDER
3 min read
TikTokers set for personalised feed
TikTok is a video-sharing platform that allows users to publish minutes-long clips and host livestreams
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Select TikTok users in Southeast Asia are testing out a feature that allows them to view videos posted by those nearby, a spokesperson confirmed to TechCrunch in an email. "We're always thinking about new ways to bring value to our community and enrich the TikTok experience," the spokesperson said in the email.
The new feed was first reported in a tweet by social media consultant Matt Navarra, then fellow marketing experts chimed in about the rollout.
Brendan Gahan, the chief social officer of entrepreneurial agency Mekanism, suggested that the new feature could "eat away at marketshare" for companies like Yelp, Instagram, and Google.
Insider's Samantha Delouya reported that 40% of Gen Z prefer to use TikTok and Instagram as a search engine over Google, according to internal data from Google.
The "Nearby" feed is situated next to the "Following" and "For You" feeds at the top of the app's home page. Simply clicking "Nearby" will give users access to the local feed.
TikTok is a video-sharing platform that allows users to publish minutes-long clips and host livestreams.
TikTok's For You feed operates on an algorithm that curates videos based on each user's engagement through their likes, comments, and accounts they follow, according to the company.
The app has garnered public scrutiny as its Chinese parent company, ByteDance, has been accused of a lack of security of users' data, according to an Insider report. "We know we're among the most scrutinised platforms from a security standpoint, and we aim to remove any doubt about the security of US user data," a TikTok spokesperson told BuzzFeed in a June report.
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A Nearby feed would liken it to other platforms that allow users to access content based on location – including Instagram and Snapchat, according to Techcrunch.
The app is already offering geo-location tags to some TikTokers. On certain videos, a location tag can be seen above the username.
In addition to the Nearby feed, TikTok is also testing a "Shop" feed in Indonesia that allows users to browse and purchase various products, according to a June report from Techcrunch.
In the report, the company confirmed that the new feature would make it possible for merchants and creators to sell products on TikTok.
"Brands on TikTok have found a creative outlet to authentically connect with audiences, and we're excited to experiment with new commerce opportunities that enable our community to discover and engage with what they love," the spokesperson said to Techcrunch.
Representatives of TikTok have yet to say when the new feeds will be more widely available.