Twitter is the latest platform to test a TikTok copycat feature


Amanda Silberling

Twitter posted today that its testing a feature that would turn its in-app explore page into a TikTok-like video feed, complete with even a “For You” tab. This feature is testing on both Android and iOS for users in certain countries who use Twitter in English.

Twitter is the latest social app to see if it can capitalize on TikTok’s rapid growth — the short form video app surpassed one billion monthly active users this year, making it one of the fastest companies to hit that milestone. TikTok clones like Instagram Reels, Snapchat Spotlight and YouTube Shorts have incentivized creators to use their platforms and have grown in popularity. Even apps like Netflix, Spotify and Reddit are experimenting with the format.

*checks Explore tab*

If it’s looking different, then you’re in our latest test: a new Explore experience to help you discover the best content that’s trending. Available in certain countries for some of you who use Twitter in English on Android and iOS.

— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) December 8, 2021

Twitter has been constantly churning out new products and features this year, like Spaces, Twitter Blue and Tip Jar. This momentum is expected to continue with Parag Agrawal taking over as CEO after co-founder Jack Dorsey stepped down last week. Already, Agrawal has begun restructuring the company to support what he called “ambitious goals” in an email to staff, which he tweeted upon his appointment.

Spaces, Twitter’s live audio product, is now the default center icon on the app’s bottom navigation bar. This indicates that Twitter is committed to promoting this Clubhouse competitor. But Twitter’s copycat features haven’t always been successful. Fleets, its Snapchat/Instagram stories competitor, was shuttered after eight months. So, just because Twitter is testing a short form video feed doesn’t mean that this will definitively become its vehicle for content discovery. But, as TikTok’s success has shown, people find short videos to be quite engaging.