TikTok has started experimenting with a new feature named “Nearby” which will provide users with much more localized content including posts and recommendations. Here’s everything you need to know about the latest feature TikTok is testing right now.
TikTok’s Nearby feature was first highlighted by renowned social media consultant and industry analyst, Matt Navarra. The test is currently live in Southeast Asia as a handful of accounts get a new feed option beside the “For You” page.
It’s worth noting that TikTok also provides content creators the ability to add geo-location tags to their videos in Southeast Asia. The short-video platform will likely utilize the geo-tags to offer more personalized and localized content.
What is the Nearby Feature on TikTok?
TikTok is testing a new “Nearby” feed that is designed to display local content to users to offer more localized videos and recommendations. A spokesperson for the platform told TechCrunc that the new feed is under testing with select users in Southeast Asia.
They also confirmed that the test is currently limited in scope. Users who are a par of the live test will see the new feed tab appear on the left of the “For You” feed. A screenshot by influencer marketing strategist Brendan Gahan has gone viral displaying the Nearby feed.
“We’re always thinking about new ways to bring value to our community and enrich the TikTok experience,” the TikTok spokesperson told TechCrunch in an email. It’s unknown at the moment if the new vertical field will only display videos that have been geotagged.
The spokesperson mentioned that it was too early to say based on the current limited scope of the feed. The newly introduced feature possess huge potential and may unlock bigger revenue sources for TikTok.
TikTok’s Nearby Feature will Open Doors for More Opportunities
TikTok’s introduction of Nearby feed comes amidst Google’s internal data report stating that more than 40% of Gen Z prefer searching on TikTok and Instagram to know about something rather than Google.
If used correctly, TikTok’s Nearby feature can open new doors for the short-vide platform in terms of localized advertisements and business partnerships. TikTok is already known for its highly-intelligent and addictive recommendation algorithm, and the ability of Nearby feed will allow users to get even more intrigued with more personalized local content.
The upcoming feature would allow TikTok compete with Snapchat’s Snap Map and Instagram’s newly launched Searchable maps features. Both of these functionalities allow users to find local content and explore nearby places.
The spokesperson also confirmed that the geo-tags will roll out to more content creators in the coming days on TikTok. Nearby feed will likely use the geo-tagged videos to provide local content to users.
Practically, TikTok’ Nearby feed can also have an impact on platforms like TripAdvisor and Google. We shall wait for the formal introduction of the feature before thinking how will it work. The possibilities are endless.
How to get the “Nearby” feed on TikTok?
TikTok is currently testing the “Nearby” feed only with select accounts in Southeast Asian countries. The experiment isn’t available elsewhere right now. Even if you are staying in Southeast Asia, then also your chances of accessing the feature right now are too low.
That’s because the test is currently under limited scope. Users will have to wait for sometime till TikTok expands the live testing to more users. Meanwhile, you can join the beta program of the TikTok app to be eligible to try out new features.
Additionally, make sure that you are using the latest version of the TikTok app at all times.
When will the “Nearby” feature be available for all TikTok users?
It’s unknown when will TikTok roll out the “Nearby” feed for everyone. Currently, it’s only available to a handful of accounts in Southeast Asia. We’ll keep you updated when TikTok expands the testing and if they’ll experiment the feature in the United States of Europe.
The TikTok spokesperson has stated that the feature is in a very limited scope right now, and it’s possible that it gets major overhaul before launching or gets completely scrapped.
TikTok Previously tested a dedicated “Shop” feed
Along with the Nearby feed, TikTok is also testing a “Shop” feed in Indonesia. This new feed allows users to browse and purchase various products like clothing, electronics, beauty products, etc.
The reports about TikTok’s Shop feed test appeared a couple of months back, in June 2022. The snapshots of the feature revealed a newly added “Shop” feed alongside the “For You” and “Following” tabs on the homepage.
TikTok Shop is available in select markets including Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore and the United Kingdom right now. It’s unknow what changes will the app make to the UI once both Shop and Nearby are available together.
TikTok is set expand a lot and explore new opportunities in the coming years. It’s likely going to pose major competition to giants like Meta, Google, and Snapchat.