TikTok is working on avatars, live audio streams, new creator tools and more

TikTok is building a number of new features, including Bitmoji-like avatars, keyword filtering for the For You Page, group chats, audio-only livestreams, screen sharing on livestreams and Twitch-like subscription features, which would allow creators to make subscriber-only emotes and subscriber-only comment sections. These potential features-in-progress were spotted by social media analyst Matt Navarra.

These leaks should be taken at face value — just because TikTok is playing around with a new idea doesn’t mean it will roll out in the app. But, developing features can sometimes provide insight into a platform’s plans.

“We’re always thinking about new ways to bring value to our community and enrich the TikTok experience,” a TikTok spokesperson told TechCrunch. The spokesperson confirmed that these features are indeed being considered, but emphasized that when TikTok tries out new ideas, the goal is to get feedback from users — the resulting feature (if it gets rolled out) could look vastly different from what we see in leaks.

Some of these leaked features have already been publicly tested in some form, like paid creator subscriptions. But subscriber-only emotes and comment sections — which borrow directly from Twitch — could make sense in context of yet another recent TikTok test: a desktop streaming software called TikTok Live Studio. The keyword filtering feature — which is similar to Twitter’s muted words feature — has already been mentioned as part of TikTok’s ongoing effort to clean up its For You Page.

“We’re working on a feature that would let people choose words or hashtags associated with content they don’t want to see in their For You feed,” TikTok wrote in a December blog post.

The other leaked ideas, like avatars and audio-only livestreams, point toward other potential avenues for TikTok’s expansion. If they can do livestream video, why not try to capitalize (pretty late) on interest in live audio? Also, it’s about time we can group message on TikTok.