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TikTok tests Twitter-like Repost feature for sharing content

Social media apps are always lifting features from rival services, and one of the most popular — TikTok — is clearly no exception.

The popular short-form video app is currently testing a new Repost feature similar to Twitter’s retweet feature, according to a TechCrunch report on Tuesday, January 4.

Those involved in the test will find a Repost button on TikTok’s share page, which currently lets you highlight your favorite videos via messaging apps, email, and so on.

The Repost button does exactly what it says on the tin, instantly sharing the selected content to the For You feed of your TikTok followers.

TechCrunch notes that the Repost button has several limitations in its current form. For example, the button only appears with videos that show up in your For You feed — in other words, you won’t see it with any content you find in Discover or via a friend’s share that appears in your TikTok inbox.

In that sense, any content you choose to give a boost to on the platform will have arrived before your eyes via TikTok’s algorithms, which populate the For You feed with content based on your earlier interactions.

Anyone using Repost will also be asked to type out a few words saying why they wanted to share the content. The comment won’t appear in the regular comments section but instead behind a “reposted” label that friends can tap to discover what you wrote.

Currently, the only way to reshare content on TikTok is to stitch or duet with the video, so the new Repost feature offers the easiest way yet to share content with others. With so little effort required, TikTok will be keen to see if the feature encourages more users to engage on the platform rather than simply watching videos without interacting. Full implementation of the feature would mark a shift by TikTok toward user suggestions over its algorithmic system for surfacing content, although the latter will still play a central role on the platform.

In a widely shared statement, TikTok said of its latest test: “We’re always thinking about new ways to bring value to our community and enrich the TikTok experience. Currently, we’re experimenting with a new way for people to share TikTok videos they enjoy.”

It should be noted that as this is a test, there’s a chance TikTok’s Repost feature could be changed from its current form (indeed, some users are already seeing the button labeled as “Recommend”), or simply dropped from the platform altogether.

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Trevor Mogg
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