Video-focused social networking service, TikTok has become a global phenomenon with its varieties of short-form user videos, from genres like pranks, stunts, tricks, jokes, dance, and entertainment with durations from 15 seconds to three minutes. The Chinese owned app was ranked by Morning Consult as the third fastest growing brand of 2020, just behind Zoom and Peacock. It reached a new height last year as it was ranked by Cloudflare as the most popular website of 2021, ahead of Google in number 2.
The company not resting on its oars is planning on building a host of new features, some of them include Bitmoji-like avatars, keyword filtering for the For You Page, group chats, audio-only live streams, screen sharing on live streams and Twitch-like subscription features, that would allow creators to make subscriber-only emotes and subscriber-only comment sections.
Social media analyst, Matt Navarra was the first to spot and leak these potential features-in-progress that is expected to be greeted with wild applause.
But before we get too excited, it should be noted that not all the features of the leaks may be rolled out, even as TikTok is playing around with a new idea is not an indication that it has to be rolled out in the app, but then, developing features can sometimes provide insight into a platform’s plans.
“We’re always thinking about new ways to bring value to our community and enrich the TikTok experience,” a TikTok spokesperson told TechCrunch. The spokesperson confirmed that these features are indeed being considered, but emphasized that when TikTok tries out new ideas, the goal is to get feedback from users — the resulting feature (if it gets rolled out) could look vastly different from what we see in leaks.
Few of the leaked features have been revealed and already publicly tested in some form; an example is the paid creator subscriptions. But the subscriber-only emotes and comment sections feature that has— its ideas lifted directly from Twitch, could make sense in context of yet another recent TikTok test: desktop streaming software known as TikTok Live Studio.
The keyword filtering feature, akin to Twitter’s muted words feature — has already been mentioned as part of TikTok’s ongoing effort to clean up its For You Page.
TikTok had written in a December blog post that it is “working on a feature that would let people choose words or hashtags associated with content they don’t want to see in there For You feed”.
Other leaked ideas like the avatars and audio-only livestreams, shows other potential avenues for TikTok’s expansion.