TikTok, the kind of short-form videos, has reportedly shared plans to expand its direct messaging (DM) features. This will see TikTok take on its fiercest rival Instagram directly. At the time, the DM feature is the most significant difference between the rival platforms. The move is seen as an attempt to increase user engagement and keep people on the app longer.
Going Beyond Entertainment
As per The Information, one of the new features on TikTok will be the ability for users to DM each other directly from the video screen. This will allow real-time conversations about the content being watched, making the experience more interactive.
Another new feature is the ability for users to create and join group DMs. This will allow for more dynamic and collaborative conversations and increase user engagement.
TikTok is also planning to introduce new ways for users to express themselves in DMs, such as with stickers and filters. This is similar to what Instagram has been doing with its Stories feature. TikTok aims to increase user engagement and retention with this.
TikTok for Business
TikTok hopes to bank on user engagement and interactive features to appeal to younger users and potentially attract a larger audience. Not to mention, now businesses can also utilize the platform more effectively.
Thanks to its DM feature, Instagram has proven to be a successful business tool. Brands use IG DMs for sales pitches, customer support, customer feedback, market research, and more. These messages are a free way to interact directly with customers and obtain invaluable information.
Marketing executive Brendan Gahan interprets this change as TikTok becoming a true social media network rather than an entertainment source. In a LinkedIn post, he noted that the platform is “placing emphasis on social connections.”
Transitioning TikTok for professional purposes can also increase its advertising revenues. Companies have spent billions of dollars on other platforms, such as YouTube and Instagram, to promote their products and services. With over one billion users in 154 countries, TikTok has enormous potential for global marketing.
TikTok’s expansion of its DM feature could prove a big boost to both influencers and marketers. Moreover, those who want to utilize TikTok only for entertainment can control which messages they receive. They can simply go into Settings and Privacy to determine who can and cannot send a DM. The available options are receiving messages from mutual friends/suggested friends or disabling the feature.
The new direct message features will be rolling out in the coming months. They will be available to all users worldwide. It is difficult to determine how this change will shape the rivalry between TikTok and Instagram. But one can say TikTok has finally realized the importance and potential of user communication.