TikTok, the popular video-sharing app, is looking to hire new talent to boost its social networking features and direct messaging options. The company has recently posted several job listings for roles that focus on creating “meaningful social connections between users” and improving the user experience.
According to Axios, which first spotted the job openings, TikTok is concerned about losing user engagement as users share TikTok videos on other platforms to chat with their friends. The company wants to build a platform that allows users to interact with their real-life friends on TikTok and share their life moments with each other.
One of the job listings is for a “Product manager – TikTok social” who will be responsible for defining and executing the product vision and strategy for TikTok’s social features. The ideal candidate will have experience in building social products and platforms, as well as a deep understanding of user behavior and needs.
Another job listing is for a “Backend tech lead – TikTok social” who will lead the development of TikTok’s messaging infrastructure and explore and implement various social solutions. The job description admits that TikTok’s messaging capability is in “its early stages” and needs a distinctive TikTok social solution.
TikTok is known for its viral videos that showcase creativity, humor, and talent. The app has over 1 billion monthly active users worldwide and is one of the most downloaded apps in the world. However, the app faces competition from other platforms like Instagram, which has copied some of TikTok’s features such as Reels and Stories.
TikTok is not giving up on its core strength of video content, though. The company told Axios that being an entertainment channel has always been and remains the essence of TikTok’s business model even as it experiments with new features to enhance the user experience.
TikTok’s move to become more social is not surprising, as social media platforms tend to evolve and expand their functionalities over time. For example, Facebook started as a college network and now offers a range of services such as Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp, Marketplace, and Oculus. Whether TikTok can successfully transition from a video app to a social network remains to be seen.