Hiking Trails

TikTok is testing a new ‘nearby’ content stream, which could become a major consideration for brands

after it was spotted during testing by several users, TikTok has confirmed that it is 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 “Nearby” stream in the app.

At first glance, TikTok’s Nearby feed shows content posted by users in your current location.

This could allow TikTok to feature locally relevant updates that relate to your interests.

As explained by TechCrunch:

“For example, if your For You page often shows restaurant recommendations or must-see hiking spots, the Nearby feed should show you videos of nearby restaurants and hiking trails.”

Which could, of course, be an important consideration for brands. TikTok is the app of the moment, with projections that it will hit 1.5 billion users before the end of the year, putting it only behind Facebook and YouTube in total audience.

A dedicated local feed could give you access to a huge group of nearby users – 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 are looking for a place to eat, which could indeed present a huge promotional opportunity.

If that’s how it works. Details are quite limited at this stage, with the test only being conducted with a small group of users in Southeast Asia. TikTok also recently added a location tagging option for messagesand it’s unclear, at this time, whether messages shown in the “Nearby” feed will be automatically added based on the location of a user’s profile or whether location tags should be included.

TikTok itself seems quite unsure of all the details, only noting that:

“We are always thinking of new ways to bring value to our community and enrich the TikTok experience.”

So it’s both limited and experimental. But that could become a bigger consideration, according to TikTok’s next step.

Certainly worth noting are Google’s comments here, which also recently pointed to TikTok’s growing share of search business as a competitive threat. If this is a major emerging trend among younger users, a local feed could become even more relevant and could possibly rival Google in terms of SEO importance in this regard.

There’s not much to do, but we’ll keep you posted on any expansions and/or progress.