Snapchat may be warming up to threaten TikTok more specifically. The company announced that it is exploring a new interface that encourages users to travel with a vertical swiping motion via Snapchat’s public content — a movement that TikTok has popularized, enabling users to move between images. Snapchat says the app is one of their projects testing various, interactive visual technologies for group content.
The study relies on material that has been already uploaded on Snapchat Discover, not on private accounts by your peers. But because Stories can have several sections, as before, users can often tap to progress through the Plot. But in the new experiment, a horizontal swiping motion — either to the left or to the right — will exit the experience, rather than, as before, moving you between Stories.
The vertical swipe now seems like a more normal way of going through videos for someone who spends most of their time on TikTok. Yet going back to Snapchat or other applications where the horizontal tap is used is almost disorienting.
Social media consultant Matt Navarra first spotted this test, citing a post from Twitter user @artb2668. One shared photo shows the pop-up in the app that explains how to navigate the new experience, while a video gives you a feel-good idea.
Snapchat refused to include detailed test information; besides clarifying that it is in the early stages and can only be used by a relatively limited percentage of the user base. Of course, the pacing of the Snap check is interesting.
The Trump administration is now threatening to ban TikTok in the U.S. because of the links the device has with China and concerns that private consumer data from the Americans would end up in the hands of the Communist Party of China. For similar reasons, the software was already blocked in India. Amazon ordered its workers to delete the software from their company-issued devices on Friday, before removing the application about five hours later. US military divisions have blocked entry to the device, prompting an alert from the Pentagon earlier this year. Meanwhile, under a U.S. national security investigation, Musical.ly (the app that became TikTok) has had its acquisition by ByteDance of China.
Rival networking applications have ascended the app store lists, like Byte, Likee, Triller, and Dubsmash, despite the possibility of TikTok’s elimination. Meanwhile, Instagram has broadened its TikTok-like app, Reels, to new markets, including India. In recent days even
YouTube has started testing a TikTok-like experience. But it’s no wonder that Snapchat will still like to do the same with its consumer base, provided that the U.S. market of TikTok will soon be up for grabs. The study also reveals how powerful TikTok has been as regards dictating the user interface of the messaging network.