TikTok is rolling out a new "Friends" tab that replaces the "Discover" tab in the bottom menu of the app. The company says the new tab is going to roll out to more people over the coming weeks and that it will allow users on the platform to find content from people they've connected with. TikTok did not elaborate on the rollout or say whether it will be coming to all users in the future.
"As we continue to celebrate community and creativity, we're bringing a Friends Tab to more people over the coming weeks, which will allow you to easily find and enjoy content from people you're connected with, so you can choose even more ways to be entertained on TikTok," the company said in a tweet.
As we continue to celebrate community and creativity, we're bringing a Friends Tab to more people over the coming weeks, which will allow you to easily find and enjoy content from people you're connected with, so you can choose even more ways to be entertained on TikTok. pic.twitter.com/GdVpPbxio6
— TikTokComms (@TikTokComms) May 5, 2022
A screenshot that TikTok posted alongside the tweet shows that users will see a banner that says "watch your friends' videos" once they click on the Friends tab. If you have connected with your friends on the app, you'll see their content on the page. If you haven't, TikTok will suggest that you connect with friends through your contacts or that you connect with your Facebook friends. The page also suggests accounts from people that you may know and displays a follow button next to each name.
Social media consultant Matt Navarra first spotted the new tab last month, noting that it would replace the Discover tab. It's an interesting move for TikTok to replace its Discover tab, which shows users a variety of content, including trending hashtags and videos. The Discover tab also includes a search bar that lets you search for specific content. It's worth noting that there's also a search icon on the top right side of the homepage that can be used to search for particular videos and also suggests specific searches based on your activity and previous searches.
TikTok's decision to move away from a Discover tab is interesting and indicates that it's looking to offer a new way to recommend content based on your actual friendships. It does seem like a peculiar move in some ways, especially since TikTok already has a "Following" tab that displays all of the content from people you follow on the app, which could include your friends.
The new tab is a way for TikTok to go beyond the Following tab and present itself as a more interpersonal app, as opposed to a place that simply highlights viral and popular videos. The company looks to be prioritizing this new personal content discovery over trending videos viewed through the Discover tab that may have appeared in your "For You" page rotation anyway.
TikTok has been making some changes to its app over the past few months and most recently introduced a way for users to see who viewed their profile. The feature is only available to users who are above the age of 16 and have fewer than 5,000 followers. If you have the feature, you’ll see an eye icon in the top-right corner when you look at your own profile. If you click on it, you’ll see who viewed your profile in the last 30 days.