Twitter is the latest platform to test a TikTok copycat feature

Twitter posted today that it’s testing a feature that would turn its in-app “Explore” page into a TikTok-like video feed, complete with even a “For You” tab. This feature is being tested on both Android and iOS for users in certain countries who use Twitter in English.

“We’re testing out a revamped, more personalized Explore page to make it easier for you to unwind, find new interests and see what’s happening,” a Twitter spokesperson told TechCrunch. The company said it is a visual-forward way of surfacing content that already exists on Twitter. This is part of Twitter’s ongoing effort to improve personalized recommendations and discovery across the platform.

Twitter is the latest social app to see if it can capitalize on TikTok’s rapid growth — the short-form video app surpassed one billion monthly active users this year, making it one of the fastest companies to hit that milestone. TikTok clones like Instagram Reels, Snapchat Spotlight and YouTube Shorts have incentivized creators to use their platforms and have grown in popularity. Even apps like Netflix, Spotify and Reddit are experimenting with the format.

Twitter has been constantly churning out new products and features this year, like Spaces, Twitter Blue and Tip Jar. This momentum is expected to continue with Parag Agrawal taking over as CEO after co-founder Jack Dorsey stepped down last week. Already, Agrawal has begun restructuring the company to support what he called “ambitious goals” in an email to staff, which he tweeted upon his appointment.

Spaces, Twitter’s live audio product, is now the default center icon on the app’s bottom navigation bar. This indicates that Twitter is committed to promoting this Clubhouse competitor. But Twitter’s copycat features haven’t always been successful. Fleets, its Snapchat/Instagram stories competitor, was shuttered after eight months. So, just because Twitter is testing a short-form video feed doesn’t mean that this will definitively become its vehicle for content discovery. But, as TikTok’s success has shown, people find short videos to be quite engaging.

Update 12/8/21, 3:45 PM EST with comment from Twitter