TikTok users currently see Following and For You feeds on the app’s homepage, but they soon might see a third: Nearby. The new feed is currently being tested with select users in Southeast Asia, a TikTok rep confirmed to TechCrunch, but it’s unclear if and when it’ll be rolled out to other regions.
The new feed, which would show users local content, was first reported by social media consultant Matt Navarra on August 23. “TikTok is playing catch-up with Snapchat’s Snap map and Instagram’s recently launched searchable photo map features,” Navarra tweeted.
He said the app’s new Nearby feed is in conjunction with a new option giving creators the ability to add a location tag to videos. The TikTop rep told TechCrunch the ability to add location tags is gradually being rolled out to users.
TikTok is working on a NEW ‘Nearby’ / ‘Local’ feed.
This is in conjunction with a new option giving creators the ability to add a location tag to videos.
TikTok is playing catch-up with Snapchat’s Snap map and Instagram’s recently launched searchable photo map features.
— Matt Navarra (@MattNavarra) August 22, 2022
Currently, the For You feed works with the app’s recommendation algorithm, so the thinking is that the Nearby feed would work in the same way — only, with the suggested content all near you. For example, if your For You feed is all dating advice and outfit inspo, your Nearby video should show you dating advice and outfit inspo from creators near you.
“The Nearby feed would open up several new possibilities for the app and also have the potential to impact platforms like TripAdvisor and Google,” notes TechCrunch. Google itself recently shared that TikTok was taking away users from its Search product.
TikTok’s ‘Nearby’ feed spotted in the wild pic.twitter.com/WG5yND3oLl
— Brendan Gahan (@brendangahan) August 24, 2022
Google’s senior vice president Prabhakar Raghavan said the tech giant had noticed 40% of young users going to TikTok or Instagram when looking for a place to eat – instead of Google Maps or Search.
The new Nearby feed could also open up new opportunities for local advertisers on TikTok.
Back in July, Instagram announced a new map experience that would let users easily discover more places nearby and see what other people are sharing there. While it already had a feature to let users explore other people’s posts on a map, it added even more functionality. The feature uses the geotags users add to their posts and Stories.
New map, who this? 🌐🗺️
Now you can now find popular locations around you or filter by categories like cafes or beauty salons. pic.twitter.com/asQR4MfljC
— Instagram (@instagram) July 19, 2022
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a Story shared on the social network that the new map will help users rediscover local businesses.