TikTok is testing a new local feed called ‘Nearby’ to show off content from a user’s area.
The ‘Nearby’ feed is currently in testing for markets in Southeast Asia, according to a TikTok spokesperson. The spokesperson told TechCrunch that the testing is limited in scope, and users who are opted-in will see the new feed between the ‘Following’ and ‘For You’ feeds on the app’s homepage.
“We’re always thinking about new ways to bring value to our community and enrich the TikTok experience,” the spokesperson told TechCrunch. The new feed is being tested alongside the ability for users to add location tags to videos they upload on the platform. The ability to tag where videos were taken is a feature that is rolling out to creators now.
TikTok’s recommendation algorithm is part of what makes the app such a huge success. Adding local feeds could really tap into Meta’s market share – where things like Facebook Groups and Marketplace still dominate. The feature appears to be mimicking Snapchat’s Snap Map and the Instagram searchable map, where users can discover nearby locations just by searching around a visual map.
Artists could use the feature to promote their shows at local venues. Local venues could use the feature to advertise open mic night, special events, and much more. It would also give TikTok another revenue stream by allowing businesses to buy highlights or spots on the local map for certain keywords.
Think of how web 2.0 business models like Foursquare or Yelp work. Gen Z tends to start searching for things via social media – rather than starting with a search engine. That core behavior will change the way TikTok develops in the future. Google has acknowledged that youngsters don’t use search engines as much as the previous (millennials) and older.
It’s impossible to tell when the ‘Nearby’ feed feature could make it out of testing for the general public. But it’s likely TikTok wants to expedite this feature to continue cutting into Meta’s market share with Gen Z and younger.