After it was spotted in testing by several users, TikTok has confirmed that it’s currently experimenting with a new ‘Nearby’ content feed, in addition to the current ‘For You’ and ‘Following’ tabs.
Twitter user @sofeashra posted this image of the ‘Nearby’ feed in the app.
As it sounds, TikTok’s Nearby feed displays content posted by users in your current location.
That could enable TikTok to showcase locally relevant updates which relate to your interests.
As explained by TechCrunch:
“For example, if your For You page often displays restaurant recommendations or must-see hiking spots, the Nearby feed should show you videos of restaurants and hiking trails that are near you.”
Which could, of course, be a big consideration for brands. TikTok is the app of the moment, with projections that it’ll reach 1.5 billion users before the year is out, putting it only behind Facebook and YouTube in total audience.
A dedicated local feed could give you access to a huge, engaged nearby user group – and when you also consider that, according to Google, almost 40% of young people now refer to TikTok or Instagram instead of Google Search when they’re looking for a place to eat, that could indeed present a huge promotional opportunity.
If that’s how it works. Details are fairly limited at this stage, with the test only being conducted with a small group of users in South East Asia. TikTok also recently added a location tagging option for posts, and it’s not clear, right now, if posts displayed in the ‘Nearby’ feed will be automatically added based on where a users’ profile is located, or if location tags need to be included.
TikTok itself seems fairly unsure of the full details, only noting that:
“We’re always thinking about new ways to bring value to our community and enrich the TikTok experience.”
So it’s both limited and experimental. But it could become a bigger consideration, depending on where TikTok goes next.
It’s definitely worth noting Google’s comments here, which also recently made a point of signaling TikTok’s rising share of search activity as a competitive threat. If that it is a major emerging trend among younger users, then a local feed could become even more relevant, and could possibly, eventually, rival Google in SEO importance in this respect.
There’s not a heap to go on, but we’ll keep you updated on any expansion and/or progress.